Art Walk Central 2017!

Art Walk Central 2017 opens today! My piece is on display at Veterans Memorial Library in downtown Mount Pleasant – you can check it out in the main corridor outside the study rooms.

Her Home Apothecary quilt

It’s called Her Home Apothecary and is an art quilt (my favorite medium) combining traditional quilt piecing techniques with applique and freehand embroidery. The theme, broadly and as usual, is feminism. I’m trying to get better at the promotion side of things, I have a scheduled consultation with Yeah Local, who will try and get my internet game into the future and not the other way around. So here’s my request to you to check it out and, if you like it, vote for it! Register to vote online (requires in-person activation at ArtReach or the CMU Art Gallery) or in person at a variety of local venues. My code is AWC42. I’ll be at the Art Battle and Artist Meet and Greet tonight, August 3rd, so say hi if you see me! And thanks to the library for hosting my piece!


review: Rad Women Worldwide

Rad Women Worldwide

Rad Women Worldwide: Artists and Athletes, Pirates and Punks, and Other Revolutionaries Who Shaped History by Kate Schatz, illustrated by Miriam Klein Stahl

This follow-up to Rad American Women A-Z includes short biographical sketches of about forty women who have achieved in a wide variety of areas: science, sports, art, social justice, music, politics, and lots more. I was pleased to see women from many cultures and backgrounds included – there are still plenty of white women here, but not as uneven a balance as most of the history books I’ve seen. This book is written at about a middle school level but the design is appealing to this adult and the papercut illustrations work very effectively at conveying a timeless feel while not seeming dated (so many books that try to “make history cool!” are designed to current trends and seem outdated almost immediately). It definitely has a bit of a zine-y feel, which I am admittedly predisposed to. Each of the entries is only a page or two long and it’s easy to dip in and out or read straight through, whichever suits you.

full disclosure: I received a review copy of this book from Blogging for Books


eff the shave-triarchy

The beauty industrial complex has been out of control for some time, but it seems like it’s only getting worse. Suddenly over the last few months, it feels like every single sponsored post on tumblr is some variety of body-shaming aimed at getting women to spend more time and anxiety on their (perfectly fine, thank you) bodies. The primary products seem to be leg-shaving items (and they’re in support of Pitch Perfect 2, a supposedly woman-centric movie). Some of these ads even purport to say that shaving your legs helps keep your legs healthy, and that NOT shaving them is somehow unhealthy.

That is totally not a thing. Your legs are fine and equally healthy regardless of hair or no hair. Period, the end, done.


Eff the patriarchy
So I’ve decided to stop wasting time and money shaving (during the warmer months – I haven’t shaved my legs in the winter in too many years to count). As you can sort of see here, my legs end up looking vaguely Pigpen-ish, but I have officially decided that I do not care if that makes anyone else uncomfortable. (I totally get that my leg hair is sparse and soft and that this is a bit of privilege that makes it easy for me to not shave them. Whatever feels right for your legs is your business and I am not judging.) Same goes for you men, if you want to skip reading the guide to trimming your stubble, be my guest, to each their own follies. And think of all the money I’ll save! Maybe you haven’t heard, but products marketed for women cost more than the same products not marketed for women. Not only do these companies shame you about your body, they’ll overcharge you for the products they claim will help you feel better about it! The bullshit cycle is deep here. If this rant has a point, it’s that (a) whatever you decide to do with yourself is FINE and don’t believe anyone who says otherwise, and (b) if you’re going to buy beauty products, shop around and maybe buy some from small businesses or companies that don’t participate in all this crap.


Be the Knope you want to see in the world

Have you read this terrific article about Liz Lemon, Leslie Knope, and the significance of their characters in the realm of TV and in the world in general? If you haven’t, go read it now.

I identify a lot with Leslie Knope, especially as I look at the earlier days of my professional career. I also identify with Liz Lemon in some respects, though Leslie’s loves-the-smaller-town, public-service-oriented, hyper-organized enthusiasm is definitely more like my own outlook on life.

One of the points that stood out to me in this article was this:

To be likeable as a woman, it seems, you have to ensure that you’re also non-threatening and slightly useless. You have to point loudly to your “flaws,” but not your, you know, actual flaws.

I have run into this over and over and over! In the past few years I’ve been striving to get better at accepting a compliment sincerely and at recognizing my own talents (FYI: just because you were too lazy to do actual work in math class in high school does not mean that you are not good at math. You might discover that you are actually really good at it when you look around and notice that a ton of the work you do every day requires significant math skills.) but I still find myself making dumb self-deprecating remarks on occasion.

So, ladies, I’m asking you: What are you awesome at? How do you inspire yourself? How do you do feminism?