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"Nasty Women" Art Show Coming to Downtown Phoenix

Several Arizona artists are organizing a “Nasty Women: Phoenix Unite” exhibition, which will take place January 14 to 20 at Grand ArtHaus in downtown Phoenix. It’s part of a national Nasty Women Exhibition initiative launched in New York after the October 19 presidential debate during which Donald Trump described Hillary Clinton as a “nasty woman.”

Meredith Drum, Erika Lynne Hanson, Colleen Donohoe, Patricia Sannit, and Laura Dragon are organizing the Arizona exhibition. Drum is on the faculty for ASU's School of Art. Sannit received a prestigious award from the Contemporary Forum support organization for Phoenix Art Museum in 2016. Dragon, who co-founded Grand ArtHaus, also operates {9} The Gallery.

The exhibition is designed to demonstrate solidarity among artists concerned about possible rollbacks to individual rights, as well as rights for women, immigrants, and members of the LGBTQ+ community.

"There's a huge tradition of women artists doing community activism," Sannit says.

So Sannit and her fellow organizers have issued a call for art through their Phoenix Nasty Women website, inviting all Arizona artists who share their mission to participate. The exhibition is open to artists “of all ages, races, religions, sexual orientations, gender or non-gender identifications, economic backgrounds, immigrants, and non-immigrants,” according to submission guidelines posted online – which also specify artwork size and pricing requirements.

Work must be “supportive of women’s rights” to be included in the show. Nudity in artwork is fine, and humor is welcome. But hatred, sexism, racism, and xenophobia in artwork is not. And there’s another requirement noted online: “No meanness.”

All proceeds from art sold through “Nasty Women: Phoenix Unite” will be donated to Planned Parenthood Arizona.

Local artists are already expressing interest in taking part. Within 24 hours of posting the call for art online, organizers received 10 submissions. "This is an opportunity for artists to work together for good, rather than fostering hate and negativity," Sannit says.

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The nationwide Nasty Women Exhibition project is being organized by Jessamyn Fiore and Roxanne Jackson, both based in New York. Fiore is a curator and writer. Jackson is a ceramic artist and mixed-media sculptor.

New York’s Nasty Women exhibition takes place January 12 through 15 at the Knockdown Center located in the Queens borough of New York City. Local organizers are working on related exhibitions in several additional states, including California, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Minnesota, and Texas – as well as Melbourne, Australia and Brussels, Belgium.

"We want to work for social-justice causes, and hold the Phoenix exhibit as a demonstration of solidarity," Sannit says of local organizer efforts.

The opening reception for “Nasty Women: Phoenix Unite” takes place Saturday, January 14, and the closing reception happens on Friday, January 20. Both events run from 6 to 10 p.m. Find more information on the Phoenix Nasty Women website.

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