Every year, the month of March is designed as Women’s History Month, which is a great time to highlight the unique contributions that women have made to the art world and emphasize that everyone has a place in artistic creation.
Here are three inspiring female artists to kick off your celebrations of Women’s History Month:
Helen Frankenthaler: Innovator
Helen Frankenthaler, an American abstract painter, invented her own style of painting, called the soak-stain method, in which she thinned oil paint down to the consistency of watercolor paint, then poured onto a canvas stretched on the floor of her studio.
She poured paint, dripped it, smoothed it and even titled the canvas to make the paint run and pool on her canvas, which had never been done before.
You can use Frankenthaler in your art room to encourage students to take risks and experiment; maybe they might just be the next inventors of a new art technique.
Zaha Hadid: Trailblazer
Zaha Hadid, an Iraqi-British architect, was known as the “Queen of the Curve” for her flowing. abstract building designs. She was a pioneer in the field of architecture because her ideas pushed beyond the confines of rectangles and straight lines.
She was the first woman to win both the Pritzker Architecture Prize and the RIBA Gold Medal; two of the most prestigious awards presented to architects.
You can use Hadid in your art room to inspire students to follow their intuition and inspiration. Something that has never been done before only means that it hasn’t been done… yet.
Yayoi Kusama: Boundary Breaker
Yayoi Kusama, a Japanese multimedia artist, is widely considered to be the most successful living woman artist today. Her artwork pushes the boundaries of space and time to explore the concept of infinity.
Kusama has also been very open about her struggles with mental health and uses her own art-making as therapy, repeating her iconic polka-dots to help ease her anxiety and cope with her illness, which has also been a catalyst to her inspiration.
You can use Kusama in your classroom to emphasize that the process of making art is for everyone and that while it can be a creative endeavor, it can also be cathartic and healing as well.
Find full lessons with standards, assessments and resources based on these inspirational women within the Sparklers’ Club. We also have a full bundle of lessons based on influential contemporary women artists called the Women in Art bundle.
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