By Amy Moeller | October 10, 2016 | Culture
#SUPERFIERCE is coming to DC. In fact, it’s taking off here. And you don’t want to miss it.
On October 19, DC artist and Swatchroom co-owner Maggie O’Neill brings to life the first of a traveling series of charitable events hosting by female artists paying it forward. This kickoff event will take place at the National Museum for Women in the Arts—lit pink for the day of the event!—and feature local and nationally renowned artists, benefiting EBeauty, whose online wig exchange program supports women undergoing cancer treatment.
To find out more, we caught up with SUPERFIERCE founder Maggie O’Neill.
Right now, SUPERFIERCE is about female artists teaming up to support female-focused charities. But it started from a conversation about mentorship.
Maggie O'Neill: My mom started women’s studies programs at a bunch of different universities and has dedicated her entire life to women’s education. She has always said to me, “Margaret, you’ve got to find a mentor.” And I think the hardest thing about being an artist is that it’s a very secular industry. You’re on an island, you’re doing your own thing, your own way, and you’re trying to get people to understand your work. There’s not an entity to put their arms around you and say, “Here, this is how you can do it better.” Those resources don’t exist in this career path. And that’s not something anybody really discusses.
Likewise, you feel compelled to speak up for women in the arts.
MO: Less than 5 percent of art in major museums all over the world is by female artists. And [their price points are much lower.] Female artists aren’t getting their due and I don’t think it should ignored. We’re doing a disservice to artists that are coming out of school right now to not at least just try to change it.
So two years ago, you set out to create a mentorship program and this series was born. DC’s event will take place at the National Museum of Women in the Arts. How many artists will be on display?
MO: Five from Washington, DC [Maggie O’Neill, Dominique Fierro, Lesley Devrouax, Violetta Markelou and Maggie Michaels], plus Ashley Longshore from New York and New Orleans and Lana Gomez from LA.
Artist Ashley Longshore.
From here, you’ll head to New York in February and then LA in April, but not every SUPERFIERCE artist will be at every SUPERFIERCE show.
MO: There will be two or three national artists and then the rest will be local. The goal is that in 2017 we will go to four different cities, and then everyone will culminate at Art Basel.
The benefiting charity will be up to each city’s host artist. Here, it’s EBeauty. Tell me about that organization.
MO: EBeauty is an amazing non profit located here in DC that supports women undergoing treatment for cancer through the EBeauty Community, Online Wig Exchange Program, and other charitable initiatives. My mom is also a breast cancer survivor, so it was just this awesome convergence of all these people coming together.
Proceeds from art sales at each event will benefit the sponsored charity.
MO: It’s up to the artists to decide how much of their work goes to that charity. So the artist can donate the entire proceeds of a painting to EBeauty, or just 10 percent, and the people buying the work will know how much of the sale is going directly to the charity.
For more information about SUPERFIERCE, or to buy tickets, visit superfierce.org