Every two years, starting in 2011, the Bradley University Department of Art and the Illinois Women Artists Project have organized an interdisciplinary symposium exploring the art, experiences and legacies of women artists working in the Midwest. These are free and open to the public, but developed as scholarly sessions led by scholars, artists and museum curators.
The subject of the symposia are women who made valuable cultural contributions, taught and ran businesses, established community organizations, participated in political debate, and raised children. There are wonderful stories to tell about their desire to create and their willingness to go beyond societal boundaries to do it. Their work is a tribute to the spirit of all women. Their lives enrich our own and make possible what women do today. The symposia look at the works and share their stories — to appreciate more of the depth of our cultural history and support the value and integrity of women’s art.
Historians, artists, writers, instructors, and museum and community art leaders from around the country spend a day and a half in early November for conversations and presentations. The information is new and useful, and the spirit and inspiration of the symposium enjoyable.
2019 Midwest Women Artists: Champions of the Environment, 1960s to the Present
2017 Transforming Midwest Culture and Society: Women Artists, 1960s to 1980s
2015 Midwest Women Artists, 1940-1960: Discovering Their Work, Telling Their Stories, Learning from the Past
2013 Midwest Women Artists, 1840-1940: Discovering Their Work, Telling Their Stories, Learning from the Past
2011 Uncovering the Stories of Midwest Women Artists, 1840-1940