The anonymous art collective the Guerrilla Girls will feature in this winter’s Symposium Day, sharing their experience in the field of art and anonymous activism with Augustana students.
The Guerrilla Girls were founded in 1985 in response to the gender imbalance of a Museum of Modern Art’s comprehensive contemporary art exhibition. Young feminist artists banded together under the safety of anonymity to strike out through a poster campaign against the sexist comments made by the director of the exhibition.
Now in their 31st year, the Guerrilla Girls remain anonymous and continue to fight back against injustice both in the art world and in society as a whole. On January 18th and 19th, students can learn from the Guerrilla Girls as a part of this winter’s Symposium Day.
This past fall the museum featured an exhibit of the Guerrilla Girl’s portfolio to celebrate 30 years of Women and Gender Studies here at Augustana. In continuing the celebration, Dr. Kovacs has arranged for the Guerrilla Girls to return for two events.
“How can a few individuals make a real difference in the face of large systems and injustice? Anyone who wants to leave the world a better place than you found it struggles with that question,” said graphic design professor Vickie Phipps when asked about the goal of the events.
The first event will be on January 18th at 7 p.m., when the Guerrilla Girls will host a gig in Centennial Hall for students interested in learning about the history of activism as well as a question and answer with the artists themselves.
“The Guerrilla Girls are to art what LeBron James is to basketball. Who does not want to learn from a legend?” explained Professor Phipps.
The following day will include two workshops for high school students, as well as one for 25 Augustana students interested in using art to advocate for a cause of their choosing.
The Guerrilla Girls will work with these Augustana students to guide them through the brainstorming process of an activism campaign. Students come with an issue they care about, and will leave with a plan and a small reimbursement for their campaign.
“I’m hoping that students walk away from this workshop finding their own voice,” explained Dr. Kovacs, head of the Augustana Teaching Museum of Art. “I want students to think about the ways that they can create change and engender conversation in our own communities, whether they are national issues or issues that relate to just the Augustana community.”
Dr. Kovacs hopes to find students who can commit to the time of the workshop as well as students with a passion for their issue. Interested students should check their email for the application for the workshop.