Using a copy of MSF Alert (below) I began a blind contour drawing of the woman with her baby on the cover, but it morphed finally into a collage using African textile patterns printed onto paper. The facial details were added with ink pens.
Apres avoir regardé la couverture (dessous) de la magazine de MSF, j’ai commencé ce tableau avec un dessin de contour à l’aveugle, mais je l’ai changé à un collage, fait de motifs africains imprimés sur papier. Puis j’ai ajouté les détails de visage avec des stylos.
I suggested Women on 20s add Lyda Conley, about whom this much is known:
Eliza Burton “Lyda” Conley (ca. 1869 – 1946) was an American lawyer of Native American and European descent, the first woman admitted to the Kansas bar. She was notable for her campaign to prevent the sale and development of the Huron Cemetery in Kansas City, now known as the Wyandot National Burying Ground. She challenged the government in court, and in 1909 she was the first Native American woman admitted to argue a case before the Supreme Court of the United States.
Barbara said she would add Lyda to the “Hall of Fame” once the campaign steadies, then I asked if I might post her response. She edited and said, “Yes.” So this was her response and I think it is important to read and understand where she, et al, were coming from in the original Women on 20s campaign to get a woman’s image on the 20 dollar bill:
Thank you so much for your blog post. I just wanted to take a moment to clarify some things so that our campaign is best understood.
Actually, we never said we were unable to find Native American or Latinas. And it wasn’t just two women that developed the “slate” With so many women to chose from, we needed a way to evaluate the over 100 possible candidates. We came up with a method that scored candidates on a scale of 1-10 based on two criteria. The first criteria was the candidates’ impact on society which was weighted more heavily than the second criteria , obstacles they had to overcome to achieve their goals or if they were a pioneer in their field. We had a “caucus” of approximately 100 historians and professionals weigh our candidates along these lines We did not arbitrarily select anyone specifically for their ethnicity, sexual orientation, preference or race. The only factor was that they be an American woman, which we realized in the process had to be deceased for at least two years. This is explained on the website page:http://www.womenon20s.org/the_process and a list of 15 runner ups can also be found there.
We certainly did want to have Latina and Native American Women on our slate.
Gloria Anzaldúa, died a few years ago, very beloved and influential feminist. Luisa Capetillo, a lesser known socialist Puerto Rican feminist from early 20th century. Cristina Mena was not quite a feminist, but early 20th century Mexican American woman writer. Other earlier figures include Jovita Idar and Maria Ruiz de Burton. All of these women were great, but none of them really met the base criteria. Had we had a criteria that said that we must have a Latina for just the reason she is a Latina, we would have jeopardized the entire campaign for what would be seen as tokenism. As a Cuban American woman, I did want a Latina badly to be on our list. For me, I am taking great pride in many Latinas that are leading the way and are still serving our nation and will surely be remembered for all their efforts to help create a more equal and fair nation, dozens including Sonia Sotomayer, Martha Cotera, Dolores Huerta and am so happy that they are leading the way today still.
As for Native Americans,Wilma Mankiller emerged from the dozens to the top 30. Her impact was huge to a smaller group, albeit a key constituency and one which this very campaign hopes to heal in some way with the removal of a person responsible for the death and suffering of tens of thousands, indeed an entire people. Sacagawea, also was named two years ago on the list to be considered, but did not make it through, not because she was on a coin, as that is but another form of tokenism , but because her impact was not as significant as the contributions of others.
We can have just so many women on our list. If you find a glaring omission, please let me know
We are hoping that all this dialog can insure that we are equal sisters, in every wayl. This is not a beauty competition, nor any competition at all. We are also hoping that we can have a place on our site as a Hall of Fame for all sisters.
Yes, many are left out, because we have just so many we can nominate. Thank you
Barbara Ortiz Howard
Stay in touch and get out the vote so that at least we can have our voice heard !
When I was at New Britain General Hospital in the spring of 2014, the security guards stripped me naked and left me in the freezing and barren seclusion room…This is a depiction of a younger woman largely because no one gives a damn about what happens to a 61 year old woman anywhere..but the seclusion room is pretty danged accurate.
Those of you who are familiar with my “older”works (meaning the ones I did in 2009 when I first started painting) might recognize the earlier piece, more recently uploaded, called Woman with Earring, or Sister Soulidad. Well, this painting is a palimpsest of that one, a palimpsest being simply a painting over another painting. You can see hints of the old one underneath this one, indeed, as the earrings are the same, as is the necklace and even the lips. Even though the rest of the face is much changed, nevertheless there are definitely echoes of Sister Soulidad in her.
This piece and many others will be on exhibit at the Wethersfield, Connecticut public library from May 1- June 30, 2012. Another new small sculpture below will be in the display case, along with The African Queen of Paranoia, which may be seen if you do a search for it on this blog site or go to my photobucket artwork site, and small jewelry or pill boxes I made with reproductions of my artwork on the tops.
I made this bird because I wanted simply to make a hummingbird. But after I did so, it reminded me of the poem “Of Mere Being” by Wallace Stevens.
Of Mere Being
by Wallace Stevens
The palm at the end of the mind,
Beyond the last thought, rises
In the bronze decor.
A gold-feathered bird
Sings in the palm, without human meaning,
Without human feeling, a foreign song.
You know then that it is not the reason
That makes us happy or unhappy.
The bird sings. Its feathers shine.
The palm stands on the edge of space.
The wind moves slowly in the branches.
The bird’s fire-fangled feathers dangle down.
Speaking of Wallace Stevens, here is a poem I wrote that one of Stevens’ lines inspired. It will be in my next book, LEARNING TO SEE IN THREE DIMENSIONS (saison d’enfers means “season of hell”)
THE SONG OF THE ANT
by Pamela Spiro Wagner
“For the listener, who listens in the snow…”
In those days I was always cold
as I had been a long time, mindful of winter
even at the solstice of my high summer days
always, always the crumb and crust of loss
and near-loss of everything held dear
before the saison d’enfers and the ice to come
But there was the wind
There was still the wind making music,
and I, at one with the quirky stir of air
bowing the suppliant trees
bowing the branches of those trees for the sound
of songs held long in their wood
Changes change us: rings of birth, death, another season
and we hold on for nothing and no reason
but to sing.