Pretty Girls: an Artist Collective was born out of a naturally occurring grass roots motif. The original intention would have been to host a feminist art show in someone’s yard or basement — out of necessity. As Olivia Thompson was doing a spring 2011 internship under fiber and material studies artist Susan Lenz of Vista Studios/Gallery 80808 – Susan offered the gallery space for Olivia to organize her first art exhibition. The opportunity to utilize a renowned art gallery set the stage for success. Reba Edwards gathered select fellow USC art students to become part of the collective. Mary-Ellyse Fendig, also known as Merle, executed all the public relations work to bring community awareness of this happening. Molly Harrell become the Pretty Girls photographer and did a series of “Rosie the Riveter” portraits of the collective. It was the collective effort of these strong female voices that made this show possible.
Young and pretty women in this society never have real value. As we are artists and not social scientists, we do not have solutions to our society’s complex social problems. Pretty Girls merely wishes to illuminate this subject through visual interpretations. The act of creating is a solution in and of itself. As we have overcome enough of the socioeconomic obstacles that might have otherwise prevented us from presenting our perspectives. It is a liberating experience to host a feminist art show and have other people get involved and feel inspired. People are sympathetic to feminism but so many people support issues regarding animal rights and green movements but you can’t truly respect the planet if you don’t respect human rights.
The idealization of the female form has become detrimental to the growth of the human race. Some viewers may perceive our feminist work as too sexually explicit or too pessimistic, but it is always unillusioned and it goes with the turf; we create from experience. We hold a mirror up to confront what society has chosen to ignore – social outcasts. We are not trying to make the public feel more comfortable – it can be pretty ugly.
The second annual show will be held at the Tapp’s Art Center located at 1644 Main Street this Friday June 1, 2012 from 5-10 p.m. It will showcase over 50 local up-and-coming artists. The concept of this particular show is Consumerism from the original underlying Feminist perspective. The opening reception on Friday will include performance arts and entertainment – not to be missed! The art will be on display the entirety of June at the Tapp’s Art Center. All proceeds will go to benefit the Friends of the Tapp’s Arts Center, a new non-profit for art workshops with children.