International Women’s Day 2020

Happy International Women’s Day 2020! A day where we celebrate women’s achievements, raise awareness of gender bias and focus on the need for equality. We have come a long way from the first International Women’s Day in 1975, but more progress still needs to happen. This year’s theme is Equal for Equal, an equal world is an enabled world, and together we can create it. In the arts, women are still considered second-class. 

We earn 74 cents to every dollar men make, leaving us to make roughly $20,000 less than our male counterparts each year. Just 11% of all acquisitions and 14% of all exhibitions in major US galleries were the work of female artists in the last decade. 

Some galleries, artists, and collectives are actively fighting these boundaries within the art world. So while this list of facts can go on and on, let’s focus on the positive and read about some of my favourite badass women who are in my local art community - plus the events that they currently have coming up! 

Feminist Art Collective  (@torontofac)

A Toronto grown organization that was inspired by the attacks on women’s and trans’ rights internationally. They aim to create a space of inclusivity that empowers social change, education, and opportunity. Currently, FAC is the middle of their Feminist Art Fest at OCAD University in Toronto. The first three days of the festival had artist talks, markets, film nights and conferences. But don’t feel sad if you missed out! The leading exhibition, which features over 40 artists’ work, is still running until March 14, in the Great Hall at OCAD.

Alexis Venerus (@alexus_projects)

Alexis Venerus is the curator of the Grab-a-Slice gallery, an experimental art space located in Parkdale, Toronto. Her mission is to fuse art with the community through both traditional and unconventional techniques. She also has her publication Insahyt Catalog 700-779, which serves as a collection of research and references that connect back to a given theme. Venerus has her next exhibition, Listerine (Living in Scenes That Encorporate Regular Inspiring Novel Explorations), opening March 19, at the Earl Selkirk Gallery in the Junction. It will showcase work as if it was a breath of fresh air. Artists include Ana Ghalayini, James Lai, Roots, Chelsea Hirons, Nora Wang, Malik Mckoy, Arshia Salesi, Arezu Salamzadeh, Sienna Sekand, Spam Wilsom, Luke van H, and Tram Pinney.  

Mrkt Gallery (

Mrkt Gallery is a platform dedicated to the works of female artists. A market space where you can purchase framed prints from a variety of contemporary female artists, including even some works from yours truly. The best part about Mrkt is that 50% of the profits go back into the artist’s pocket, providing them with not only income but new clients, and overall exposure for their art practice. Currently, Mrkt has a pop-up booth in the Hudson Bay on Queen Street West. Today is the last day to visit the pop-up, and check out Mrkt in person - so say hi! They will be there from 10 am to 7 pm today! 

Kelly Rose Adams (@kellyroseadams)

Kelly Rose Adams is a portrait painter who works from digitally altered photography to portray her subjects in unusual situations. Adams is featured in the exhibition Vital Signs at Leslie Grove Gallery. The show is a celebration of International Women’s Day, featuring work from 30 female artists. Vital Signs only up until March 15, so if you are out in the east end, go check it out!

Lucia Wallace (@art_journal_by_lucia)

Lucia Wallace is a queer textile artist based in Toronto. Her work explores identity, memories, and storytelling through traditional craft mediums. She aims to combine and contrast the meditative processes of writing, drawing, knitting, and coding. Wallace is currently doing her Masters at OCAD University and has helped organize a graduate conference coming up this week. The meeting is called Economies of Dispossession and runs from March 13 to 14, at 100 McCaul Street. To learn more about the event, check out the posts on her Instagram. Admission is free, and all are welcome. I sadly cannot make it to the talk, so if you go - let me know what you thought about it! 

So that’s it! 

Show these badass women some love, and let them know I sent you! If there are any women you would like to shout out for International Women’s Day, leave a comment down below! Happy International Women’s Day!

-Sarah Zanchetta

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