Quick, name five artists. For most people with even a cursory arts education, five artists should come relatively easy. For those with a more intense fine arts education, you can probably name at least five artists just from one period in art history. Do you have your five? Okay, so how many of them are women? Probably none of them. As we celebrate Women’s History Month this March, we’re reminded of just how often the contributions of women get pushed to the background.
In an effort to bring the conversation back to the enormous contributions women have made to the art world, The National Museum for Women in the Arts has started the hashtag #5womenartists with the challenge of bringing the names of female artists back into the limelight. We’ve been watching on Twitter as beautiful examples are shared and we couldn’t help but add our own list of contemporary women artists.
French artist Koralie started as a set designer for television advertising before graduating from paint on canvas to full scale street art installations.
Her signature character, a flamboyant geisha, has been spotted on the streets of cities all over the world; Tokyo, Paris, Munich, Barcelona, New York, and San Francisco to name a few. We were very excited to not only have the chance to include her in our Spring 2016 title The Tall Trees of Paris, but to also have her design the cover art.
We have a special place in our hearts (and on our walls) for Tokyo artist Naoshi. Using the Japanese sand painting technique called sunae her work takes the whimsical kawaii aesthetic and applies it to an array of characters she has developed over the years. Naoshi was featured in our very first book The Tall Trees of Tokyo and our first picture book title Ice Cream Work.
Maryanna Hoggatt's Animal Battle series is a sight art lovers will want to take in. Combining the fantasy and whimsy of childhood stories like Peter Rabbit and The Wind and the Willows, her anthropomorphic animal characters are armed to the hilt for a battle that will be remembered by everyone. Hoggatt's work was featured in The Tall Trees of Portland and her character Tolly is getting is very own picture book later this year (October 2016, Overcup Press).
Another artist featured in our upcoming April release The Tall Trees of Paris, Amandine’s illustrations are wonderfully bizarre. Urruty spreads her repertoire of beasts and gallery of characters across mediums, on paper just as easily as on walls. She plays with the techniques of traditional drawing and offers up a cheerful array of deviant portraits. She builds her images “like we would wander in the alleys of a Sunday flea market” collecting a mass of objects and second hand amusements and presenting them in all their hodgepodge glory.
Stephanie Buer, a featured artist in The Tall Trees of Portland, has an intimate appreciation of decaying urban landscapes fostered during her years in Detroit, MI. Her works in both oil and charcoal depict in photo-like detail, the layers of grit and history accumulated in these places as they have been manipulated by vandals, artists, and the persistence of nature. The images are full of both decay and growth and invite the viewer to further explore these landscapes we usually pass by as unimportant.
We hope you'll create your own list of #5womenartists for this year's Women's History Month and share on social media.
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