SPRINGFIELD – A founding member of the social activist art group Guerrilla Girls will present an artist lecture beginning at 7 p.m. Friday, March 23, in Brookens Auditorium, located on the lower level of Brookens Library on the University of Illinois at Springfield campus. The program is free and open to the public and will include a question-and-answer session.
A member of the Guerrilla Girls makes point during a presentation.
The Guerrilla Girls are a group of feminist artists and activists known for using anonymous guerrilla tactics to promote gender and racial equity in the arts and society. Assuming the names of dead women artists, they wear gorilla masks, schoolgirl skirts, and fish-net stockings in public as a way of focusing on issues rather than personalities. Since the group's inception in the mid-1980s, some 100 members have produced posters, billboards, public actions, books, and other projects all designed to address social change on various fronts as well as to make feminism "funny and fashionable."
Using facts, humor, and often outrageous visuals, members work to expose sexism, racism, and corruption in politics, art, film, and pop culture. In recent years, Guerrilla Girls have appeared in person at more than 90 universities and museums; in publications such as The New York Times, Mother Jones, and Artforum; on the air on NPR, the BBC, and CBC; and in many art and feminist texts. They have published several books, including The Guerrilla Girls' Bedside Companion to the History of Western Art. The group is also involved in various collaborative efforts with organizations such as Amnesty International and Greenpeace.
Sponsors of the event include the UIS Visual Arts Program, Art Students' League, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, Women's Studies Program, African American Studies Program, Sociology/Anthropology Program, Women's Center, Women's Issue Caucus, Diversity Task Force, and Speakers Fund, as well as the State House Inn.
More information about the Guerrilla Girls is available from their website at www.guerrillagirls.com. For more information about the program at UIS, contact Brian Gillis, assistant professor of Visual Art, by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 206-7548.