The Womanish Experience is a 5-floor exhibition that will showcase the work of female and gender non-conforming artists. The exhibit features several rooms and installations, each of which frames a specific issue related to female or gender-nonconforming identity. Womanish uses contemporary art to explore womanhood from different perspectives.
The immersive exhibition is opening on September 3rd on State Street, Chicago. It’s a culturally-inclusive safe space that welcomes everyone. The women-centered event treats visitors to a vividly-colored space featuring a multitude of instagrammable displays, a collage of vintage advertisements with women of color, snap photos of a floral display, different types of modern art, and a thought-provoking funhouse to help women discover their ‘ISH’.
If you are curious about the words ‘womxn’ and ‘womyn’, there is no better place to quench your curiosity than this 40,000-square-foot dreamland. Womanish is a month-long exploration of diverse and different identities and roles of women, not all of which are defined by their relationship to men. The revolutionary exhibit celebrates the rights of all women including women of color, transgender women, and non-binary women.
The moment visitors enter Womanish’s revolving doors on State Street, they’ll be immersed in the 1950s ‘We Can Do It’ diner. Visitors will 1 by elevators, spiral staircase, and escalators into an artful space filled with the works of globally known artists. Artists have used statements about womanhood and various artistic expressions to extol fresh perspectives and embrace new identities.
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Who’s behind the Womanish Experience?
The Womanish Experience is the brainchild of two sisters, Gray and Danyelle, marketing managers and local podcasters. Gray and Danyelle have made it their life’s mission to empower women by upholding their achievements, recognizing the challenges they face, and advocating women’s rights and gender equality.
Over the years, Gray and Danyelle have organized many podcasts, workshops, and events to support women. They built a team of progressive women who share their mission and are pushing boundaries in their respective fields. Together, they are developing Womanish as a movement to shatter single-definition stereotypes and create safe spaces for all women to connect.
Different areas of the Womanish Experience
Womanish features 16 immersive, thought-provoking installations that reflect different issues related to female identity.
The first area you’ll find yourself in after entering the exhibition is Censoredish which elucidates the discriminatory standards applied to the female form by the media. Art installations in this area also reflect how patriarchal influences translate to inequality and gender-based violence. You’ll find paintings from Korean artist Claudia Chanoi that highlights some interesting questions about the signs and signifiers the hegemonic society decides to censor.
The second area is named Consumerish and features installations that illustrate the concept of ‘pink tac’ – the invisible cost that women have to pay for the products specifically designed and marketed for them.
These installations shed light on identity stereotypes that are taxing, as the Womanish team believes that women are a product of their own consumptions and have the receipts to make everything transparent. A beautiful dovetail with Consumerish highlights that women pay more than men about 42% of the time.
The Paidish section casts light on wage disparity between men and women. The section is designed to remind visitors that women earn 82 cents for every dollar a man earns.
The last floor is named Childish and features some of the most playful installations. You’ll find swing sets, lemonade stands, and remote control cars on this floor. It’s a perfect place to relive your childhood or connect with your inner child. It’s like a daydream that has no boundaries.
Vanish & Fleurish
Vanish is another artful area of the Womanish Experience that illuminates how perspectives appear and vanish like a rainbow. The area features a bending maze that’s symbolic of changing perspectives. Fleurish is where women from all different backgrounds feed their souls as they appreciate what nurtures and sustains them in life.
Black Womxn features a conglomerate of powerful installations including a 3D hair artwork by Tyler Clark. Tyler is a Christian faith-based artist who fashions multi-dimensional artwork offering representation of African women. His artwork portrays different hairstyles of Black women and the magic that lies in them.
It’s a DIY salon-inspired section that emphasizes the role of self-care in women’s empowerment. It is designed to remind women that it’s not selfish to put yourself first. You’ll see the artwork of Armani Barron in this section.