Transforming Midwest Culture and Society: Women Artists, 1960s to 1980s

Kristan McKinsey's picture
Call for Papers
November 2, 2017 to November 3, 2017
Illinois, United States
Subject Fields: 
African American History / Studies, American History / Studies, Art, Art History & Visual Studies, Fine Arts, Women's & Gender History / Studies

This interdisciplinary symposium held on the campus of Bradley University in Peoria, Illinois will explore the impact that Midwestern women artists of the 1960s and '70s had on their communities and on the evolution of Amerian art. Many of these women used their creative skills and organizational talents to address one or more of the social and political issues of their day, most notably civil rights, women's rights, environmental conditions and the war in Vietnam.  While aware of artistic currents on the east and west coasts, many took a different path in their choice of subject matter and/or the media in which they chose to work.

The stories of these artists have largely been left out of the scholarship on American art, and this symposium aims to correct that deficiency by examining the organizations they formed to exhibit and promote their creative activities; the social issues they addressed in their work and how that transformed their communities; and, how the press and other artists received them. Female artists who helped shape the culture life of the Midwest in the 1960s and 1970s will join scholars of the period on three discussion panels.  Lynn Warren, Curator of the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago will give the keynote lecture.  Additional presentations will be made by scholar Rebecca Zorach, surrealist artist Eleanor Speiss-Ferris and two more to-be-determined.

The biennial symposium is organized by the Art Department of Bradley University and the Illinois Women Artists Project, with assistance from the Intellectual and Cultural Activities Committee of the university.  It is free.  This program has been made possible by a grant from the Eugene & Harriet Swager Fund for Public Art and the Taylor & Corinne French Fund/Fine Arts of the Community Foundation of Central Illinois.

Proposals limited to 300 words for 20 minute papers should be submitted by midnight June 30 to both Dr. Sarah Glover ( and Kristan H. McKinsey ( Proposals should include the title of the paper, presenter's name, institutional and departmental affiliation, CV and technology requests.

Contact Info: 

Kristan H. McKinsey, Director

Illinois Women Artists Project

Bradley University, Peoria, IL