Feminisms (Re)Framed: St. John’s Feminist Art Show will take place this Saturday and Sunday at Gallery 24 on Casey Street. The opening will be on Saturday the 18th, at 6pm.

The exhibit will showcase feminist art across many disciplines, and for the purposes of this show, feminist art means any art of any medium exploring, navigating, or challenging feminist themes and issues in any way, and/or art that is feminist through the means of its creation.

“One short film and installation is looking at expectations for women’s roles and unpaid labour,” says co-chair Zaren Healey White. “We also have pieces exploring identity, embodiment, body image, gender roles, depression – so many approaches to exploring art through feminist lenses.”

As Zaren pointed out, making an art show accessible to everyone, who might not normally know how to seek out the chance to exhibit, can be a feminist act, too.

Surprising Uptake from the Community

They invited submissions from the public and were blown away by the response. “We received submissions from thirty-eight different artists or artist groups,” says Zaren.

“That’s a lot more than I was expecting considering the short time frame between when we announced the show and the submission deadline. “

Because some of the pieces were collaborative – including a short film – there will actually be more than 40 local artists on display at the show.

“Our priority was to find a way to accommodate as many different individuals as possible, and so we accepted something, in some form, from everyone who proposed a piece.”

In addition to photography, paintings, drawings, mixed materials, textiles, sculpture, and short films, they’ll also be displaying several poems, and a few poets will read their work at the opening.

A Sneak Peak …

When asked to share an example of a piece that will be on display, Zaren offered up a textiles piece, a “media corset,” that explores, according to the artist, the negative imagery women are bombarded with through the media everyday.

“Another is a hanging doll and found object installation. There’s also a lot of really interesting self-portraiture work and variations.”

The Call for Submissions Was Wide Open

The exhibit is also notable for its inclusiveness. People who don’t identify as artists, hobby artists, and established artists alike were welcomed to submit. “One of our goals was to make it very accessible and easy for people who want to become more involved in art-making and in the arts community.”

Zaren says this will be a first exhibition for many of the people involved. “Helping feminist artists get their work out there, to be shared with the larger community, is part of the vision. Art is an engaging way to communicate ideas and activism.”

Zaren’s appreciation for Hillary Winter at Gallery 24 was also clear. Winter gladly made her space available for the exhibit.

She’s equally grateful to her co-chair Alexandra Fox, and everyone else involved. “I had the idea to try to work on a feminist art show in March and now, in July, it’s happening, thanks to lots of support and a great organizing committee who are working very hard.

I’m a hobby artist myself, and now a hobby art show planner. If all goes well, I would love to grow Feminisms {Re}Framed and make it an annual staple of the St. John’s arts scene.”