This past Saturday I had the awesome honor and supreme pleasure to participate in and attend the Reproductive Justice Arts Extravaganza at the Art by Design gallery in Philadelphia, PA. Co-chaired by former FFC writer @IAmDrTiller and @ClinicEscort, the event was a celebration of the Women’s Medical Fund‘s 25th anniversary.
The committee did an excellent job organizing a juried fine art competition and some great performers. Sadly, I missed Charly Brownskin’s belly dancing show, Chlamydia Dell’Arte‘s sex-ed burlesque show, and the scenes from The Waiting Room by Megan Smith (damn you I-76!); but I have it on very good authority from a friend who didn’t get lost in central PA en route to Philadelphia that they were all very excellent and very entertaining.
What I did make it just in time for was the announcement of the winners for the juried art show. Though there was a sculptural piece included in the show, there were prizes for photography and traditional media. For photography, Heather Anult’s series of posters done for the 4000 Years for Choice project won. On its website, Anult describes 4000 Years for Choice as, “visual narratives about the practices of contraception and abortion from around the world for the past 4000 years. The project hopes to celebrate, inspire, and empower women and men in their reproductive lives!”
In traditional media, Heather Keith Freeman won for her piece “Not Yours” (pictured above). Upon finishing the piece in February, Freeman wrote in her blog, “I’ve been wanting to do a piece on this subject for quite some time, but it didn’t coalesce into a firm image until a couple of weeks ago. Obviously the message is centered on reproductive freedom, but many of the statements apply to gender identity and expression, religious freedom, disability rights, and gender equality as a whole. In short: my body is mine and mine alone. I and I alone have the right to control what happens within it, and to declare my own experience.”
The last performance, which I’m so glad I was able to catch, was poetry by the duo Pussies, Pens, & Politics. Made up of Ms. Wise and Ms. Misconception, these ladies are incredible poets and performers. I don’t think I really have the vocabulary to do them justice, so allow me to post a video I nabbed from You Tube:
However, I think the best part of the night was hearing from a couple different organizers rumors that there will be another one next year! I’d mark a reminder on your calendars for August/September 2011 to check out if the rumors prove true.
As an added bonus because there was so much truly wonderful art, I’ve tracked down the websites of as many of the the featured artists as I could (if anyone has the url of an artist I didn’t find, please leave it in the comments below!). The complete list of all artists shown:
Amanda Brezicky (that’s me)
Heather Keith Freeman
Beth Shapiro Prusky
Robin Mann Robison
Manda is, in no special order, an artist, mama, writer, activist and history geek.