Call to Action Art Commission 2017-2019
Call to Action art commissioning program was established by Art+Feminism in 2017.
Artists are selected to create a Creative Commons licensed artwork that edit-a-thon organizers can use to promote their events. Our goal is to both highlight the work of contemporary artists and to expand the body of images available that represent the project.
Ashkaamne (matrilineal inheritance) (2019) by Wendy Red Star depicts the artist and her daughter, Beatrice Red Star Fletcher, reclining in matching striped shirts and blankets, with the words, “Apsáalooke feminist,” repeated in the background. Apsáalooke inheritance is based on matrilineal descent, tracing affiliation along with the mother-to-daughter line; the image represents a lineage, female empowerment, and the next generation.
About the Artist
Raised on the Apsáalooke (Crow) reservation in Montana, Wendy Red Star works across disciplines to explore the intersections of Native American ideologies and colonialist structures. An avid researcher of archives and historical narratives, Red Star seeks to incorporate and recast her research, offering new and unexpected perspectives, along with creating a forum for the expression of Native women’s voices in contemporary art. Red Star holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Montana State University, Bozeman and a Master of Fine Arts from University of California, Los Angeles. She has exhibited nationally and internationally, at venues including Hood Museum of Art at Dartmouth College, Hanover; Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; and Fondation Cartier pour l’art contemporain, Paris. Red Star is the recipient of a 2017 Louis Comfort Tiffany Award and a 2018 Smithsonian Artist Research Fellowship. She has lectured widely, at institutions including Banff Centre; National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne; Yale University, New Haven; and California Institute of the Arts, Valencia. The Newark Museum will host Red Star’s first career survey exhibition later this year. She lives and works in Portland, Oregon.
Rage/Sorrow (2018) by Tuesday Smillie is an animated GIF. The text “RAGE” appears large, filling the square format from left to right. “RAGE” is quickly obscured by a cascade of rectangles and the text, “SORROW,” repeated in a smaller font. Rage/Sorrow, a born-digital work, suggests the role of technology and the internet in nurturing and exacerbating pre-existing social divisions. The endless loop of the GIF mimics a cycle of anger and anguish produced by the constant stream of horrifying news.
About the Artist
At the core of Tuesday Smillie’s work is a question about the individual and the group: the binary of inclusion and exclusion and the porous membrane between the two. Smillie holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the Oregon College of Art and Craft. Recently, she has shown at Artist Space, New York; New Museum, New York; Participant Inc, New York; the Rubin Museum of Art; and Rose Art Museum at Brandeis University, Waltham. Smillie is the recipient of a 2014 Artist Grant from Art Matters, New York and the 2018–19 Ruth Ann and Nathan Perlmutter Artist-in-Residence Award by Rose Art Museum. In 2014, she was named the first Resident Artist by the Museum of Transgender Hirstory and Art. Her work has been featured in Artforum; the Boston Globe; and New York Magazine, and she has lectured at Cornell University, Ithaca and the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York. Smillie lives and works in New York.
Divya Mehra was selected for the inaugural commission. Mehra’s research-fuelled practice explores diasporic identities, racialization, otherness, and the construct of diversity. Dangerous Women (Blaze of Glory), 2017 depicts a jerrycan with the word “edit” emblazoned on the face of the container. With a dry, disruptive sense of humor, the work suggests a source of untapped energy and the need for reinvigorating change.
About the Artist
Working in sculpture, print, drawing, artist books, installation, advertising, video, and most recently film, Divya Mehra is known for her meticulous attention to the interaction of form, medium, and site. Through an acerbic tone, she addresses the long-term effects of colonization and institutional racism. Re-contextualizing references found in hip hop, literature, and current affairs, she contends with contemporary expressions of societies (India, America, Canada) continuously formed by their colonial roots. Mehra’s work has been included in a number of exhibitions and screenings, notably with Creative Time, MoMA PS1, MTV, and The Queens Museum of Art (New York), MASS MoCA (North Adams), Artspeak (Vancouver), The Images Festival (Toronto), The Beijing 798 Biennale (Beijing), Bielefelder Kunstverein (Bielefeld), and Latitude 28 (Delhi). Mehra holds an MFA from Columbia University and is represented in Toronto by Georgia Scherman Projects. She currently divides her time between Winnipeg, Delhi, and New York.