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Art and the Gender Gap

Is there a difference between men and women when it comes to art?

Well, yes.

Historically artists who have made the most significant impact on the world have been male. This is due to women not being allowed into art schools or apprenticeships until much later in history. Men also took credit for women’s work so that it could gain approval. Furthermore, much of women’s work remained unacknowledged as art. Even today, women’s artistic endeavors are called ‘craft’ but will be considered ‘art’ when done by a man.

Studies found that men tend to use the right side of the brain to make art, while women use both sides. This has been linked to hunter-gatherer type roles. With that in mind, observations have been made about differences in the styles and energetic direction in men’s and women’s art. Men tend to lean towards the angular while women towards more flowing styles and natural subjects.

Another interesting observation is that while women tend to visit galleries more than men, men tend to be exhibited more.

Furthermore, buyers perceive a higher value in the art produced by men than women.

You can help change that by learning about, following, and supporting more women artists.

Here are some women who are making an impact, whom you have likely not heard about:

Shamsia Hassani is an Afghan graffiti artist, a fine arts lecturer, and the associate professor of Drawing and Anatomy Drawing at Kabul University. 

Akasha Rabut is a photographer and educator based in New Orleans. Her work explores multi-cultural phenomena and traditions rooted in the American South.

Zubeida Agha is regarded as “A Pioneer of Modern Art in Pakistan”

Micha Cárdenas works in New Media art. Her practice involves wearable electronics and the issues of transgender people of color within the digital realm. She helped design the Transborder Immigrant Tool, a GPS device that helps undocumented immigrants crossing the US-Mexico border to locate water stations.

Do you follow women in art who are making an impact? Please use the comments below to add to this list.

Jamuna Burry

Exploring ideas on creativity through digital art.