BY LEANI M. AUXILIO
Going on right now at the Yippie Museum is the La Bracera: Women and Work art exhibit put together by AF3IRM, a New York-based women’s group. I, along with my mother Marivir Montebon, was invited by our friend Madonna Davidoff to come to the opening reception last 21 April, to see her work alongside those of five other women artists.
La Bracera features women artists from diverse ethnic backgrounds who have come together to showcase their craft. The works on exhibit make clear the need to fully and justly recognize women’s contribution to the world, “from the home to the office to the factory and field;” a shining example, for instance, is the fact that currently, women are still marginalized in the so-called economic recovery program of the US, where only 32% of the jobs created have absorbed women.
And odds are, the female 32% of the workforce receive significantly less salary than the 68% comprised of men.
The artists on exhibit are Korean-American Donna Choi, Sarah Kolker (Jamaican/Jewish), Madonna Davidoff (Filipina), Crystal Clarity (Nuyorican), Samra Ghermay (Eritrean) and Melanie Cervantes (Xicana). Proceeds of the exhibit go to the Purple Rose Campaign of AF3IRM to ensure stability of tenure at the work place especially among women working in the corporate setting.
To be quite frank, I did not know what to expect of the exhibit, and, walking to the venue, I was left wondering whether this would be another one of those ‘Pay Entrance Fee, Sit Pretty, Gossip and be Bored in Five Minutes Flat’ events most people I know are fond of attending.
Fortunately my socks were blown off my feet (don’t get me started on my shoes; I still have to find them) the moment I stepped over the threshold of #9 Bleecker Street. I loved everything. I was expecting to pay a huge entrance fee; I was so happy to find out the suggested donation was less than $20 I gladly dug through my backpack–which has not seen a wash machine in xxx months–to pay the whole thing. I expected to sit pretty and smile at people who more often than not just stare right on back at you; there were no chairs, only a bar serving wine and dumplings, and the whole place teeming with people who obviously loved the artwork.
Meeting Ninotchka Rosca was quite a thrill too.
Add to that the (female) DJs playing music–I forgot to ask who was DJ Anamated, Dopeshoes, Sakir, but whoever they were they were awesome–and you have an art exhibit organized by women, for women.
I was expecting a civilized, sterile, and ‘profoundly bored’ environment at La Bracera.
What I got was a heartfelt, warm, and profoundly passion-charged experience at the Yippie Museum.
I am so going back there this weekend.
Leani M. Auxilio is a New Media Technology student at LaGuardia Community College in New York. She is the digital and content editor for OSM!. Her interests are anime, manga, the mysteries of the world, and sleeping in during the weekends. She is a proud bookworm, left-handed, and can get hyper if fed more than two chocolate bars at a time.
Leani can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org