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Taking a Stand: Issues Addressed by Women Artists

On View Friday, August 14, 2020–Sunday, March 28, 2021

West-end Gallery   

In recognition of the milestone reached one hundred years ago when U.S. women legally won the right to vote, this special exhibition demonstrates the strength of women artists to express their critiques of today’s world. It is part of a series of exhibitions held at the Burchfield Penney Art Center that provides an opportunity for graduate students in museum studies at SUNY Buffalo State to work as a team to curate and produce a collection-based exhibition. Four graduate students taking the course “Researching and Presenting Museum Collections” include Sarah Drozda, Madeline Friedler, Cohen Sulzbach, and Anwiya Youkhanna. They worked with Nancy Weekly, Burchfield Penney Instructor of Museum Studies at SUNY Buffalo State, who serves as the Center’s Burchfield Scholar, Head of Collections, and Charles Cary Rumsey Curator, to co-curate the exhibition and conceive of related programs that are both educational and entertaining.

This year’s theme, Taking a Stand, focuses on artworks that confront major global issues such as the environment and climate change, identity and sexual politics, race and inequality. For the exhibition, they selected artworks that sparked their curiosity from a proposed checklist and then they conducted research to establish historic and contemporary cultural contexts. As a result, they wrote interpretive labels for adults and youths, and their texts have been added to web-accessible document files for future reference. Students also learned techniques for their hands-on experience for handling, installing, and storing art—and they learned how to make this into a virtual exhibition when the museum, like so many others, had to close because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The exhibition can be found on the second floor in the West End Gallery and the adjacent Atrium Gallery.