Judy Chicago Speaks to New Mexico Art Educators

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    On Sunday February 28, 2010, at the Scalo Northern Italian Grill in the Nob Hill neighborhood of Albuquerque, Ms. Judy Chicago presented The Dinner Party Curriculum Project to art educators from around New Mexico. In the audience were New Mexico Public School teachers, NM Art Educators Association,University of New Mexico Art Education Department, College of Santa Fe, SITE Santa Fe, Georgia O’Keeffe Museum, Albuquerque Public Schools, Rio Rancho Public Schools, Santa Fe Public Schools, Los Lunas Public Schools, Cuba Public Schools, Central New Mexico Community College, NM School for the Arts, NM Committee for the National Museum of Women in the Arts, Women’s Issues for the State of NM, University of New Mexico Valencia County Branch, and many more.

    Judy Chicago spoke about the frightening numbers of women artists who are excluded from both museums and historical importance. Sadly, the numbers are worse than they once were. In the first part of this century, the number of women artists whose work is featured in major museums around the world has actually dropped!

    Ms. Chicago then presented the reason for Through the Flower’s entrance into K-12 education. While Ms. Chicago has received flattering news of student projects based on The Dinner Party, she wanted to make sure that teachers were equipped with a resource that would help them to focus on the central goal of The Dinner Party, women’s history and erasure.

    The artist told the story of the inception of The Dinner Party Curriculum Project and her Through the Flower’s collaboration with Dr. Constance Gee and Kutztown University Art Education faculty, Dr. Marilyn Stewart, Dr. Peg Speirs, and Dr. Carrie Nordlund, assisted by Ms. Dolores Eaton, and myself, Hannah Koch. The team first worked to construct the original Dinner Party Institute, in which teachers from all over the country attended week-long workshops exploring The Dinner Party and ideas about how to develop curriculum around it. The curriculum team then generated the finished curriculum that is now available to you online.

    I also had the opportunity to speak to the audience during Sunday’s event. I presented my work on the Susan B. Anthony and Suffrage Curriculum that you may find by clicking Building on The Dinner Party when visiting the Curriculum homepage. My research on the lives and work of Susan B. Anthony and the American Woman Suffrage Movement has profoundly changed my life and experience as a woman. I was glad to share the transformational power of feminist research with the audience.

    Finally, Judy and Hannah answered questions about the Curriculum and the audience engaged in lively conversation around topics of women’s history, education, and The Dinner Party. A good time was had by all.

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