Edit-a-thon encourages intersection between art and feminism

Students created Wikipedia accounts and edited and wrote articles about women artists using resources in the Sloane Art Library Thursday to bring attention to woman artists and how they are overlooked in the general public.

The Art + Feminism Wikipedia Edit-a-thon was co-sponsored by the Art and Museum Library and Information Student Society.

Merisa Tomczak, a graduate student and the president of the Art and Museum Library and Information Student Society, said this edit-a-thon was the last in a series of edit-a-thons that have been occurring on campus over the last few months based on different subjects. 

“We are focusing on improving two things: We are focusing on improving the content of Wikipedia and also the contributors to Wikipedia, because so few are women,” Tomczak said.

She said all art is defaulted to being created by a man unless otherwise stated. When women are featured, attention is usually drawn to gender.

Hannah Noël, a master’s student and the secretary of Art and Museum Library and Information Student Society, said there is a natural collaboration between art and feminism. 

“All art, literature — whatever — but especially painting in art is very much male dominated and that the tenants of that study and that practice have been assigned based on how men usually interact with that medium and that feminist art studies have emerged from a different perspective,” Noël said.

Adriana Burkins, an art history graduate student, said this was the first edit-a-thon she had attended. She said it was important to have students participate in this event so they could elaborate on work that people don’t usually know about.

“I think (art) is a way to participate in feminism, whether that is showing women of color or different identities,” she said.

Tomczak said having the event on a college campus was a good choice because they were able to take advantage of the students and their intelligence.

“We are wanting to get women involved with writing articles about women,” Tomczak said. “For us, it’s a matter of saying that women have always been creating.”

Noël said she thought having a way for the public to view art by women is also important to bring awareness to the subject. She said free art galleries, promotion and accessibility are key.

“The one thing that comes to my mind is using social media because everyone uses that,” Burkins said.

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