Celebrating Women’s History Month with OMCA
March is Women’s History Month, and we’re excited to celebrate some of our favorite female artists from our collection with you
March is Women’s History Month, and we’re excited to celebrate some of our favorite female artists from our collection with you, diverse as they come in terms of their medium, subject matter, background, and stories. Explore the art of these inspiring individuals, as well as the works of many others on our collections site.
World-renowned documentary photographer Dorothea Lange played an important role in humanizing the impact the Great Depression had on America. Her photographs were designed to provoke social and political change, involving questions of class, race, and justice. She endeavored to motivate Americans by helping them to see suffering and injustice, by stimulating their empathy, and by rendering faceless crowds into recognizable individuals. Explore Lange’s powerful work on our Dorothea Lange Digital Archive.
Miné Okubo was working in Oakland as an artist in 1941 when she and thousands of other Japanese American citizens were put into internment camps and forced to abandon everything. Despite this, Okubo made over 2,000 drawings in charcoal, watercolor, pen, and ink, depicting her everyday experiences. Okubo’s work was featured in the Gallery of California History’s Sent Away, But Not Forgotten section.
Helen Nestor was an important documentary photographer who specialized in recording the political and social changes of the 1960s in California, including the Free Speech Movement at Berkeley, Vietnam War protests, and more. OMCA acquired her archive and celebrated with a solo exhibition of her work, Helen Nestor: Personal and Political, in 2000. Two of her pieces are on view in the Gallery of California Arts.
Favianna Rodriguez is an interdisciplinary artist, cultural organizer, and political activist based in Oakland, California. Her art and collaborative projects address themes of migration, economic inequality, gender justice, and ecology. Her work has been shown at OMCA multiple times, in installations and as part of the Gallery of California Art and the El Día de los Muertos exhibitions. She speaks globally on the power of art, cultural organizing, and technology to inspire social change, and leads art workshops in communities around the country.
Hung Liu is known for paintings based on historical Chinese photographs, which often challenge the documentary authority of history and uncover cultural and personal narratives. Liu is a two time recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship in painting. A retrospective of her work, Summoning Ghosts: The Art of Hung Liu, was organized in 2013 by the Oakland Museum of California, and toured nationally.
Faith Ringgold is a painter, writer, speaker, and performance artist known for her activism in the New York City art world in the 1970s, bringing attention to the lack of women artists represented in major museums and galleries. Her work was most recently on view at OMCA in the special exhibition All Power to the People: Black Panthers at 50.