‘Gallery Tally:’ an Unconventional Look At Diversity In the Arts

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The Ohio University School of Art + Design is honored to host visiting feminist artist activists Micol Hebron and Andrea Bowers for an unprecedented interview-style lecture, Tuesday, Oct. 25, 6-7 p.m. in Mitchell Auditorium, Seigfred Hall.

Hebron’s “Gallery Tally,” exhibition will open in Trisolini Gallery, Thursday, Oct. 27, 6-8 p.m. with a gallery talk starting at 5 p.m. “Gallery Tally,” will be in Trisolini Gallery from Oct. 27–Dec. 3, located on the fourth floor in the Baker Center, Athens, OH.

“Gallery Tally,” is a crowd-sourced, social engagement art project in which 2000+ artists from around the world have joined the effort to collect and visualize statistical data regarding ratios of male and female artists in top contemporary art galleries. Artists were invited to make one 24” x 36” poster for each gallery, in whatever style or medium they chose. Starting with galleries in Los Angeles, they are now in the second phase of the project, which is focusing on galleries in New York. Subsequent visualizations will include Berlin, London, Chicago, Santa Fe, Portland, Pittsburg, San Juan, Paris, and other cities. Hebron is also trying to address the challenges of collecting accurate data on racial demographics of the art world.

According to the US Census, 50 percent of the population in Los Angeles is female. Undergraduate B.A. and B.F.A. programs in studio arts are approximately 80 percent female, and 20 percent male. On average, M.F.A. programs in the U.S. are approximately 60 percent female, 40 percent male. In Los Angeles, 70 percent of the artists represented in the top 100 galleries are male.

The fact that so many artists from so many cities are involved is an indication of the significance, impact, and current relevance of this issue. By raising questions about the simplified gender ratios of male to female, other concerns are immediately raised. What about the representation of queer artists, artists of color, disabled artists, and older artists?

Micol Hebron is an interdisciplinary artist whose practice includes studio work, curating, writing, social media, crowd-sourcing, teaching, public-speaking, and both individual and collaborative projects. She has been engaged in individual and collaborative projects in Los Angeles since 1992. Hebron is an Associate Professor of Art at Chapman University; the founder/director of The Situation Room resource space for the creative community, Eagle Rock, CA; the Gallery Tally Poster Project about gender equity in contemporary galleries; and the Digital Pasty/Gender Equity initiative for the internet. In the past she has been the Chief Curator at the Utah Museum of Contemporary Art; the director of the UCLA Summer Art Institute; an editorial board member at X-Tra magazine; an independent curator; a conservator at LACMA, and the co-founder of Gallery B-12 in Hollywood in the 1990s. She employs strategies of consciousness-raising, collaboration, generosity, play and participation to support and further feminist dialogues in art and life. Hebron has presented exhibitions, performances and lectures at numerous international institutions.

Originally from Wilmington, OH, Andrea Bowers is an artist and activist based in Los Angeles. Her cross-disciplinary practice includes drawing, video, sculpture, and installation work that foregrounds the experience of the people who dedicate their time and energy to the struggle for racial, environmental, labor and immigration justice and those who are directly affected by systemic inequality. Her work is currently on view in “Take Me (I’m Yours),” Jewish Museum, NY and “Andrea Bowers: Sanctuary,” Bronx Museum, NY. She has solo and two-person exhibitions forthcoming at the Main Museum in Los Angeles (with Suzanne Lacy) 2016; the Contemporary Art Center Cincinatti, 2017; and the Westmont Ridley-Tree Museum (with Marcos Ramirez ERRE), Santa Barbara, 2017. Bowers’ work is held is the collections of The Hammer Museum of Art, Los Angeles; MoMA, New York; The Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; The Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Center, Washington DC; The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; and Museum Abteiberg, Moenchengladbach, Germany, among others. Andrea Bowers is represented by Susanne Vielmetter Los Angeles Projects, Andrew Kreps Gallery, New York, Kaufman Repetto, Milan, and Capitain Petzel, Berlin.