Celebrating Women. Empowering Every Woman.
From Nefertiti to Michelle Obama the impact of women on our world is incalculable. Historically, women’s contributions embrace every field of study: science, engineering, politics, art, social issues, mathematics, humanities, technology and more. Women are our first teachers, and worth noting, have given birth to the entire population of the world.
And yet today, much outstanding work goes unheralded and worse, unknown. Can you name five women scientists? Five women artists, mathematicians or engineers? You might be able to name one or two, but five? Somehow, the work of many creative and impactful women are all but missing from our historical narrative. To help bring these spectacular women into the light, Woman/ Women was created as an original new exhibit for The Leonardo’s Human Rights Gallery. It celebrates the work of women past and present and asks us to imagine a 50/50 future based on equal opportunities.
Work in Progress
Central to the exhibit, The Work in Progress Mural, made at The Leonardo, is a stunning visualization of the impact of women on our society. It is a community project and the brainchild of Jann Haworth, The Leonardo’s Creative Director. Over 120 local men and women created stencil portraits of more than 150 women who are catalysts for change in the arts, sciences and social evolution. Their portraits were then made into a beautiful collage by Liberty Blake, an artist who serves as The Leonardo’s Art Specialist, into a piece that is 40 ft. long and growing. In the coming months, two new panels will be created in the Residency Studio at The Leonardo, bringing the total length to 48 ft. The mural will be on display in the Human Rights Gallery beginning on May 10.
The project was developed over the summer of 2016 in partnership with the Utah Museum of Contemporary Art (UMOCA) and the Brigham Young University Museum of Art (MOA). The mural is currently on display at MOA on the BYU campus. After it’s time at The Leonardo, Work in Progress will travel to Vienna in May 2017, Colorado in the fall of 2017, with visits to Idaho and London planned for the future.
Recently, the mural was featured at TEDXWomen 2016 in San Francisco and in Washington D.C. as part of the Congressional Commission’s Report in support of the creation of The American Women’s History Museum. It was also taken to the March of a Million Women in Washington D.C. Jan. 2017.
50/50: A Film by Tiffany Shlain
‘50/50: Rethinking the Past, Present and Future of Women and Power’ was directed by Emmy-nominated filmmaker Tiffany Shlain. The film is a fast-paced and entertaining ride through the 10,000-year history of women and power. From setback and uprisings to the bigger context of where we are today the film explores what it is going to take to get to a more gender-balanced world that’s better for everyone. Her film asks us to turn our thinking from the idea of the ‘scarcity’ of women’s presence in current narratives and instead, develop a new inclusive history that creates mentors for the rising generation of all genders.
Her messages are direct, clear and vividly expressed. She fuses modern digital technology, philosophy, art and science in a collage of information and emotional power that reminds us what it really is to be human.
The film is the centerpiece of the May 10 Global Conversation and Celebration at the Leonardo and a continuing part of the exhibit.
Watch the trailer for 50/50 below:
Historically, women’s creative energies have circled within domestic zones like quilting, embroidery, lace making, patchwork, knitting, and sewing. With industrialization, many women first found paid work as seamstresses and their sewing skills allowed them to earn their own money. 100 years ago, these skills were still more or less universal. Now, they are dying as an everyday part of life.
While the general populace today doesn’t spend much time with these skills, they have become central to many Fine Artists who forcibly declare them to be skill sets that need to be re-evaluated and that they belong alongside traditional fine art pursuits such as oil painting, bronze casting or marble carving.
The Hands On part of Woman/Women will encourage you to try things as simple as threading and knotting a needle or challenge you to to make the smallest stitch that can be seen by human eyes. Once you’ve tried your hand at these skills, we’ll ask you to encourage others to do the same! So stay a while and add to our display something you make…by hand.
Woman/Women is now showing at The Leonardo.
Take an inside look of Woman/Women, The Leonardo’s newest human rights exhibit. Jann Haworth, The Leonardo’s Creative Director, explains the inspiration for this exhibition, while high school students and Salt Lake City Mayor Jackie Biskupski explain its importance in the community.