Art teacher speaks at event honoring feminist art movement

Art teacher Cheri Gaulke spoke Sept. 21 at a lecture series about her experiences working with a womens’ art organization and how the organization affected her life and that of many others.

The presentation about The Woman’s Building was the first in a four-part Culture Series whose purpose was “to bring history alive” and “to illuminate some of the collections” at the ONE National Gay and Lesbian Archives, Gaulke said.

She was invited to speak in connection with her artwork that is in the ONE Archives and her involvement with The Woman’s Building.

Gaulke and writer Terry Wolverton spoke to a gathering of about 25 people Sept. 21 about how The Woman’s Building shaped their lives and, Gaulke said, “what contribution we think it made to art in general.”

Founded in Los Angeles in 1973, The Woman’s Building was established to encourage the feminist art movement and to give women a place to create and showcase many different kinds of art.

“Women in general are more visible now in the art world than they used to be largely because of the work that we did,” she said.

“There weren’t a lot of women artists being shown in museums or art history books,” she said. “We were all very isolated from each other so it was a time of coming together, supporting each other and making our work visible.”

The Woman’s Building rapidly rose to prominence in the women’s art movement as a place where women’s art flourished and as an organization that was a key part of advancing women’s involvement in the arts. According to Gaulke, many people heard of the organization from articles in feminist newsletters.

It was a public place where anyone could come see women’s artwork, hear poets and writers read their work, or watch feminist documentaries.

Gaulke serves on the Board of Directors for the remaining legal entity of The Woman’s Building.