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Art Influenced by The Women’s March

A look at how the march influenced a community of figurative artists.

Doug Web is a Los Angeles based artist. He and his wife attended the march last January. He says he hadn’t experienced anything like it since demonstrating against the Vietnam war. Unlike the violent marches during the 1960's, these were peaceful marches and he emphasizes that it was breathtaking.

Doug shot footage and photography of the march with plans to do a few paintings to document their experience but decided to put the film away and went back to painting his surreal cityscapes. One day during his daily ritual of meditation and prayer, a vision came of a resistance pussy hat and a few feet of chain. It morphed from there to the finished painting which was submitted for the Vision of Venus/Venus’ Visions exhibition at the Zhou B Art Center in Chicago.

I’ve been a full time artist for over 40 years, starting out as a surrealist integrating the human figure into altered imagery but later used oversized objects to convey a message. Now, with the Venus call, I went out on a limb. It’s straight up representational, but still a narrative, which is my trademark. This whole experience has opened me up to returning to the human figure. I have no idea where this is going; I’m just following God’s lead and inspired by every minute of it. — Doug Webb

As for work inspired by the woman’s march, my Rainbow Ribbon Magic series was inspired by the march. That powerful movement called me to celebrate incredible women who are pursuing their passions wholeheartedly. Each women in these paintings is someone I know personally who inspires me, and the ribbons represent extensions of their energy and intention out into the world. — Sarah Stieber

After the punch-in-the-gut that happened on election night, the women’s march that followed was not just thrilling and revitalizing to me, but a brand new feeling of connection and bond with the women all around me, regardless of their own political feelings. I feel that my work has always focused on strong, empowered women, but now it was charged with love for them. — Julie Bell

Lesley Thiel | My Secret | oil on panel | 36x36 | 2017 | Painting will be exhibited at the Zhou B Art Center in Chicago, April 2018
As a result of the election, I had started to focus on painting women and girls wrapped in their own world. After the march, all my long held feminist beliefs found a voice and I painted young women defying the rules and going their own way. Then, as we seemed to be assaulted by more and more shocking news, I moved to young women rising above the events of the world, which I saw as a wind blowing through our society. As the assault on the environment has increased, I have evolved my work to speak of women who face an uncertain future, but also of the hope that they will be the healers and nurturers of the earth. — Lesley Thiel

Nicole Mone | America The Beautiful | ink | 2017
The events leading up to the marches last year had made me too distracted to focus on my painting, but the marches themselves gave me a sense of urgency to crank out a series of ink drawings to capture the time and the feeling. The first drawing was ‘America the Beautiful’ to commemorate the Women’s March of 1/20/17 and I followed with “The Pugilist Series”. — Nicole Mone’

My art is changing because I can no longer sit back and create pretty and perfect paintings. Because of our current social and political climate, The anxiety inside me needs a bigger voice and my work going forward has to have more meaning. It started with The Pink Book and has continued in a series of small paintings that focus on the metoo movement. — Nadine Robbins

Sharon Pomales | We demand | charcoal, graphite and acrylic on aluminum panel | 12x12 | 2017


The women’s march in Washington has shown me what can happen when women get together and raise their collective voices. As an artist and mother of two teenage daughters, I realized I had the power and the responsibility to portray my painted women showing their strength, determination and humanity. ‘Venus contemplating her adolescence’ portrays my youngest daughter as she navigates the changing tide from girl to woman. My hope is that as her journey moves forward her voice will be heard. — Kelly Birkenruth

Daggi Wallace | Erasure | charcoal and pastel on gessoed cradled wood panel | 5x5
The Women’s March added so much more strength and courage to the determination to speak up, to no longer own the shame and guilt. Being surrounded by tens of thousands of women AND men, was so uplifting and supportive it took any resistance away to let my voice be heard (or in case of painting” be seen”), loud and clear. There is so much power in unity and feeling a real connection to others and the march showed me just how much power there is in one voice and in many. This is a piece that I did right after the march, titled “Erasure”. My model’s eyes (who happens to be my youngest daughter) show power and anger not resignation as she is silenced which gives me hope in this uprising. — Daggi Wallace




Didi Menendez publishes artists and poets at www.poetsandartists.com.