Blaze: Discourse on Art, Women and Feminism
Editor: Karen Frostig and Kathy A. Halamka
Date Of Publication: Mar 2009
How has feminism matured over the years?
What are the pressing agendas for today’s feminists working in the arts?
Blaze: Discourse on Art, Women, and Feminism, emerges as a navigational text, celebrating past victories while charting new directions for today’s second wave and third wave feminists. A feminist anthology, Blaze is comprised of feminist artists, art historians, critics, journalists, curators, interdisciplinary artists, and arts administrators of diverse backgrounds, living across the United States. The book grows out of the 2006 Annual National Women’s Caucus for Art (WCA) conference, held in Boston, Massachusetts.
Blaze features 15 detailed and well-documented feminist histories that narrate a number of pertinent strands of activism regarding feminist art, scholarship, and organizational development while exploring current crossroads. Conversations occur between myriad groups of women: second wave to third wave; third wave to second wave; second wave to second wave; third wave to women who do not identify themselves as feminists. The book addresses a number of timely issues related to representation, work, collaboration, environmental interventions, and social justice platforms.
Blaze: Discourse on Art, Women, and Feminism captures feminists arts professionals working together across differences. In a world filled with strife, it is this form of engagement that inspires continued activism.
For further information, please also see www.blazediscourse.com
Karen Frostig, PhD, is a visual artist, author, and Associate Professor at Lesley University, and Research Associate at the Hadassah-Brandeis Institute. She is a frequent presenter at national and international conferences. Recent scholaraship addresses the intersection of art, memory, and agency. Publications include Expressive Arts Therapies in Schools, (1998; Korean trans. 2007), an essay in Work, Pedagogy and Change, and numerous journal articles in Art New England, Social Theory in Art Education and the Journal of Art Therapy. She is a recipient of Puffin Foundation Grant, Massachusetts Cultural Council Grant, and several fellowships. Frostig exhibits her work across the US and in Europe. She will install her latest body of work Legacy of War, dealing with Holocaust legacies, at the University of Vienna, in 2008 in conjunction with an international conference addressing the fate of Jewish lawyers fleeing Vienna in 1938.
Kathy A. Halamka
Kathy A. Halamka is a mixed media visual artist, independent curator, and currently an instructor in Media and Culture at Bentley College of Waltham, Massachusetts. She earned her Bachelor of Arts at Stanford University, and returned recently to academics and received her MFA at Tufts University/School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. Co-chairperson for the WCA 2006 National Conference with Karen Frostig, Ph D and Cynthia Runge, she also continues to be active as a national WCA board member, and a regional coordinator for New England for The Feminist Art Project, Rutgers University. Halamka’s recent exploration of memory and family, incorporating charcoal drawing, photography and mixed media on birch panels, is on view at the Bromfield Gallery in Boston, Massachusetts, very near her studio in the historic South End.
“BLAZE is a work of love and commitment that chronicles the breadth and depth of American feminist creative practice across generations, as it speculates on the position of women in society and manifests in the making of art.”
Dean of the School of the Arts, Columbia University
Her latest book: Surpassing the Spectacle: Global Transformations and the Changing Politics of Art
"A fascinating potpourri of essays ranging from a succinct account of how to start your own excellent museum to art criticism and blogging, from past history of the WCA to the return of the nude in recent art. Everyone will find something valuable in this collection, to which many of the smartest minds writing about women and art have contributed."
Ann Sutherland Harris
Professor of the History of Art and Architecture, University of Pittsburgh
First President of the Women’s Caucus for Art (WCA)
BLAZE contains a provocative and piercing analysis of contemporary feminist art, spanning “35 years of passionate fury, sacrifice, and camaraderie between women.” Its informed and intelligent essays, written by a diversity of voices, are mandatory reading for anyone interested in tracking the impact of the revolution which demolished male domination in the art world. The book usefully contributes to a wide range of subjects: expansion of the canon; increased exhibition opportunities for women; the rise of eco-feminism and collaborative methodologies; public art projects; art education; and the history of a still thriving national Women’s Caucus for Art. It successfully maps the complexities of several generations of shifting feminist agendas, and makes a valuable contribution to where things might be headed now.
Has Modernism Failed? And The Reenchantment of Art
For more than 30 years, feminist artists, curators, critics, organizations, and institutions have transformed the visual arts. BLAZE: Discourse on Art, Women, and Feminism is a dynamic anthology of articles by a stunning collection of second and third wave American feminist art world participants. This outstanding volume documents the recent history of feminist art in America, providing a fascinating array of perspectives that reveal the struggles and triumphs of women in the arts. Co-editors Karen Frostig and Kathy Halamka have provided readers with multiple visions from some of the most respected figures in recent American cultural history. Artists, scholars, journalists, arts administrators, and anyone interested in the state of the arts will find BLAZE compelling and essential-all the more so as women artists continue their righteous quest for full dignity and equality in all fields of human endeavor.
Paul Von Blum
African American Studies and Art History, UCLA
This book is a must to understand the Feminist Art Movement and the significant role it has played and still does play in shaping contemporary art ideas. It does double duty by documenting the day-to-day history of the Feminist Art Movement as seen through the eyes of participants in the Women's Caucus for Art, providing information on the participating women, on the exhibitions and events that brought the Feminist Art Movement to the public, its goals, and growing pains, and at the same time, by presenting the theoretical and intellectual issues that gave rise to the movement and that are key to its impact. Very few books intermix documentation and theory. In doing so, the editors and authors enlighten readers in a way that a book focused only on one or the other cannot. The book also enlarges the discourse around the movement. Many books document the artists involved, but few give information about the art historians, curators, administrators, and institutions that were key to giving the movement the visibility and support necessary for it to make an impact. The footnotes and bibliographies attached to each chapter are a valuable resource, providing direction for the reader to explore the feminist movement further. Until now, the Women's Caucus for Art has remained under-documented and under-appreciated for its role in furthering the Feminist Art Movement and ensuring its place in the cultural record. This book remedies that oversight.
Judith K. Brodsky
Third President of the Women's Caucus for Art and past President of College Art Association
Distinguished Professor Emerita, Department of Visual Arts, Rutgers University and Founding Director, The Brodsky Center for Innovative Multiples. With Dr. Ferris Olin, she is the Founding Director of the Rutgers Institute for Women and Art, and co-facilitator of The Feminist Art Project, a national program to celebrate the achievements of the Feminist Art Movement
The breadth of subjects in BLAZE that are of interest to women’s studies faculty and students is impressive, such as feminist generations, ecofeminism, attention to mother-daughter art, rituals, mentoring, and the role of personal history. BLAZE will also be welcomed by women’s studies faculty who teach “women in the arts” courses, for whom the entire book will be of value. Faculty who teach introduction to women’s studies from a humanities (or even more interdisciplinary) perspective will find it much easier to incorporate the arts into their courses by using this text… BLAZE will fill many niches and stimulate many minds.
Phyllis Holman Weisbard
Distinguished Academic Librarian, University of Wisconsin System Women’s Studies Librarian
Editor of Feminist Collections: A quarterly of women's studies resources
I admire both the scope and ambition of this volume of feminist essays. It ranges from a lively and accurate historical account of the formative period of the 70’s allowing the reader to relive the challenges and camaraderie of those early days, to new topics and preoccupations such as eco-feminism and feminism in the digital era of blogs and anonymity. Nevertheless, I am struck by certain enduring traits. Our desire to promote the proactive and the empathetic is a hallmark of feminism, and feminist organizations now as then. Whatever the tensions and differences between first, second and third wave feminisms, there is a dynamic mix of view points in this volume which will be of great value to all its readers.
Ruth Weisberg, Dean, Roski School of Fine Arts, University of Southern California
BLAZE offers a multitude of feminist voices in the arts - from individual artists, to women who work collaboratively, to women who participated in the very birth of the feminist art movement. For this reason and many others, Blaze belongs on the bookshelf of anyone teaching contemporary art, women's history, and the emergence of women's organizations. Blaze also reminds us how important the Women's Caucus for the Arts has been both to individual careers and to the creation of a whole new phase of art-making.
Jacob Potofosky Professor of Sociology
Founding Director, Hadassah-Brandeis Institute and Founding Director, Women's Studies Research Center, Brandeis University
Price Uk Gbp: 19.99
Price Us Usd: 29.99
Sample pdf (including Table of Contents)