‘Feminist Iconography’ on display

"Hidden Weapons", created by Maria Morekis, was among one of the many pieces featured in "Feminist Iconography."Photo by Ashley Seifert

“Hidden Weapons”, created by Maria Morekis, was among one of the many pieces featured in “Feminist Iconography.”
Photo by Ashley Seifert

Ashley Seifert
Staff Writer

The plight and everyday struggles of women that have been captured in various mediums of art are currently on display in the University of West Florida’s Art Gallery.

For years, those in support of feminism have actively advocated gender equality in various capacities, and art is simply another way for individuals to express themselves in terms of the way they think about feminism.

Rebecca Namniek, co-president of the Women’s Studies Collective, said the artwork on display does just that.

“They explore feminist thought and paradigms of feminist thinking,” Namniek said. “I personally feel the purpose behind this exhibition is to bring together works that are likeminded and exploratory.”

Displaying works of art by students as well as individuals within the local community, “Feminist Iconography” embraces women’s histories and the ways in which they fought for equality not only in the workplace but in their personal lives as well. The mediums presented range from sculptures and paintings to installation and creative prose.

“Several of the pieces showcase domestic violence in some capacity,” said co-president of WSC, Taylor Willbanks. “But many also have to do with the objectification of womens’ bodies.”

Willbanks added that there are also two pieces that deal with the relationship between mother and daughter.

“In that way, I suppose you could say we have a little bit of everything to offer the public,” Willbanks said.

The opening reception took place in TAG on Thursday, Nov. 13 from 5:30 p.m. – 7 p.m. and allowed the WSC to not only inaugurate the exhibition but to answer any questions people might have had about feminism.

Robert Longo and David Carson Appropriation" by Marie Fabozzi. Photo by Ashley Seifert

Robert Longo and David Carson Appropriation” by Marie Fabozzi.
Photo by Ashley Seifert

The room in which the exhibit was held was teemed with people, some of whom overflowed out into the wide hallway separating TAG from the Mainstage theatre. There were roughly 200 people in attendance, and despite the coming and going nature of the attendees, the number rarely dwindled.

“A lot of the artwork on display is very personal and contemplates their own relationship to feminism,” Namniek said. “To suggest that they all convey the same message, I think, would be a very difficult thing to say.”

Namniek added that every single piece explores various issues surrounding women’s lives and offers a hodgepodge of worldviews, most of which can be considered both unique and shared. She said that of the worldviews shown, every single one is presented in an artistic, tasteful way.

“A variety of perspectives are brought together relating to women’s studies or feminism, which I think is one of the reasons why this exhibition is so strong,” Willbanks said. “Rather than focus on one person’s artwork, the exhibit displays various artists who come together around a central issue. You’re given the chance to hear their voices in relation to their understanding of feminism.”

“Feminist Iconography” will continue to take up residence in TAG until Nov. 15.