It’s a smaller museum off of New York Avenue in DC. A perfect two blocks from Starbucks, and an even more perfect two blocks from Macys. I could grab some tea, wait for the museum to open, be in awe of the art that adorned its walls, and head over to Macys afterwards to peruse some of the spring offerings.
As I roamed the halls of the four story National Museum of Women In Arts building I noticed just how many times I saw her, me, us. Whether it was mixed media, oil on canvas, charcoal sketches, jewelry, or photographs, the artwork was not only by women but of women. The last exhibit I saw was in a small room with slate grey walls and portraits of women who either roamed the earth or roamed the minds of women who roamed the earth hundreds of years before my amber colored leather boots roamed the exhibit. There was an introduction to the exhibit on the wall and it was clear to remind visitors like myself that there was a time women weren’t allowed to paint and denied access to the best tutelage, as well as showcasing in the early major art exhibitions. I rolled my eyes, completely unsurprised at the sexism that existed, and laughed, noting how women were at a time not considered good enough as artists yet we have constantly shown up in art, the art of men, the very men who said we were less than. “They love us,” I thought and smiled as I made my way to the museum shop.
I may have overgeneralized that “They love us,” but as we are an oh so cool seven days into women’s history month, I got a lot of love for being a woman and art always reminds me of just how wonderfully made women really are. Over the past couple of years I’ve watched us make serious strides in the world. Whether in leadership roles of corporations, opening our own business, earning terminal degrees, contributing to the political arena beyond just voting, and not giving up. We’ve lifted our voices with and for one another. We’ve seen and been seen by one another. We’ve fought for and with one another. And we are educating and being educated with one another.
Each year my network of women grows, and I continue to be amazed by the brilliant and beautiful women I am fortunate to connect with, work with, laugh with, cry with, take Zumba with, celebrate birthdays with, hold fears with, take courageous leaps with, pray with, and just live life with.
This month I’m spending a little more face to face time with some of my favorite women and I look forward to sharing what those moments have looked like, the courageous moves they are making even when it feels like anything but courageous, the women they are inspired by, and the work of other women that they are drawn to and support. I look forward to sharing just how some of the women I know are LIVE-ing and you continue your journey of what LIVE-ing means and LIVE-ing well means.