Festival showcased role of women in art

Shaun Ho / The Collegian

Women have a history worth celebrating, according to an event hosted by USU Productions, The Gallery Club and the Art department of Fresno State Friday.

In honor of Women’s History Month, The “Women in Art” Art Festival rounded up the Fresno State community and the general public to support and appreciate the many forms of art, as well as women’s roles in art locally and historically, program adviser Shawna Blair said.

“The production was significant because it was the first one to happen on campus and because it gave an opportunity to showcase various forms of art while giving the students a friendly atmosphere to display their art in,” Blair said.

The night kicked off with local musical performer Arc Minute displaying a slide show of famous women in art throughout history. The presentation included women who were recognized for various expressions of creativity. The slides included women such as Billie Holiday and the Brontë sisters.

Maria Ortega, who spoke on “What is Art,” echoed the slide show’s variation of artistic talent.

Ortega, advocate and spokeswoman for Arte Américas, said, “Not all art is pretty. Visual art is broader than just paintings and we have to remember that art is about eras, feelings and expression just represented in visual form.”

Other performances included ritualistic ceremonial dances by the Aztec Dancers, poetry readings by Simply Kat and live music from the Javon Davis band featuring Eva Scow on the mandolin.

Fresno State senior Mandee Sanchez attended the event for two reasons, which included the opportunity to display her painting.

“I saw a flyer posted around campus from the art department about entering in some of your work for the art festival. I entered and was chosen to display a piece that I worked on about two years ago,” Sanchez said.

“The art department and students were able to show the campus community as well as the Fresno community the great things they are doing,” Blair said. “The artists were able to showcase their work to their family and friends that attended. They were also able to sell their work if they wanted.”

Blair added that the event attendance turned out just as expected. “We had around 100 people attend the event,” she said. “The right people were at the event. The people that really enjoy art and the various aspects of art were there to appreciate it.”

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