How Can We Unlock the Power of Women in the Arts? w/ Christina Massey, Founder of WoArt Blog
Christina Massey is a mixed media artist using repurposed materials in her colourful organic abstractions based in Brooklyn, NY. Her work has won multiple awards including an FST StudioProject Fund Grant 2019, Brooklyn Arts Fund Grants 2022 & 2019, SIP Fellowship at the EFA Robert Blackburn Printmaking Workshop 2017 and Puffin Foundation Grant 2018.
Massey’s work is in the collections of the Janet Turner Museum, Art Bank Collection in DC, Bank of America Collection in Miami, Credit Suisse and multiple private collections. Her work has been shown extensively at galleries and museums in the NY metropolitan region and has been featured in fairs such as the 14C Art Fair and Springbreak Art Show.
Massey is the founder of the WoArtBlog, a platform highlighting the work of contemporary female-identifying artists. Her curatorial projects have been shown at such locations as the Pelham Art Center, BioBAT Artspace, Hunterdon Museum and Court Tree Collective.
In Conversation With Christina Massey
And in this Podcast episode, we asked her everything about How Can We Unlock the Power of Women in the Arts?
So before you start listening to this podcast episode, let me share with you some of the insights of the episode. So keep reading to know what you will learn from this podcast episode.
How you’re so passionate about female-identifying artists, and like how the WoArt blog is women-focused; would you want to say what that means?
The title of the WoArt blog comes from the shorthand for “woe,” which is short for “woman,” but it’s the sound “woa,” which sounds like it’s just art, that makes me go “whoa.” I’m really excited about this work. Um, and it started with blogging because I really began it in a very storytelling manner. So with the Instagram feed, I would, you know, share work that related to what was happening in my day or socially around the world in that it was kind of telling a story, so having this narrative to it was really fun.
Now. Let’s talk about your passion for female-identifying artists. What was it like to have this influence and this deep desire from the start? Or was the passion something you discovered along the way, and if so, why?
I think it was something I developed along the way but was probably always there; I just didn’t really identify it as such because I was very shy. low-self-esteem kind of teenager. And, um, you know I had a voice that I just couldn’t get out there, right? But when I had a moment where there was this kid who was a bully but was really. Started pursuing women in inappropriate ways, and something about it being okay that it wasn’t happening to me directly but was happening to friends, and something about standing up for others. gave me my voice, and I was able to stand up to this bully, and, um, the thing is, it’s funny because I don’t even remember what his name was,
and, um, I think that as I then went through college There was, uh, a. large male and female students. Um, but you know that in the art history classes. They hardly ever mentioned anyone who is female. Yeah, and the same story that everyone kind of shares, and then, as I mentioned, I moved to New York, and I’m very excited to be here and just seeing what the city has to offer. severe lack of representation. And then I would have even male and female dealers interested in my work. The questions I would be asked felt like they had nothing to do with my art. They just wanted to know aspects of my personal life that no one, I don’t think, has ever asked about, and that’s just started to build this fire in me.
and it starts to change the whole system because there’s still a lot of the same old, same old happening. It’s changing. There has been real activity. Um. There has been progress in hiring more curators and administrators, but it takes time because you can’t just fire someone who is doing a good job but are male.
Let’s also talk about your experience working with different artists while you’ve been curating these shows. “What is your experience of working with artists?” and “What do you think is the secret sauce to having a successful art career?”
The secret sauce Um, I think the secret sauce is really kindness and professionalism. It is amazing how many artists will not get you the stuff that you request on time, or they will do it incorrectly, or, uh, you know, don’t show up to see the show. You know, and sometimes there may be a legitimate reason. But it’s the people who understand and respect your efforts as well as your time. They’re professional.
They simply label things as you request, and the fact is that they get them to you by the time you require them. And support the work you’ve put into those people with whom you want to work again; you know, even if a show is cancelled due to COVID, who notices it? It’s the people who just show you that there is, you know, respect for and encouragement for the work that you do.
That you think to yourself, “I want to work with that artist again,” as if they were a joy to work with, with “diva attitudes” or “just.” I don’t even know what the right word is, but sometimes you just feel like they think they’re, you know? Ah, you know, oh, this is not that important; you know, it’s just an online show where, um, you know, they’re busy. They’ve got things going on; I get that. Um, but we’re all busy, and it makes an enormous difference when people just say they’ll follow directions and just show up and say thank you? That makes me say yes; that puts you on that list, and you know what they say about being on the good list.
Even if it’s the intern at the gallery and maybe they feel like, “Oh, this intern’s just going to be gone in a week,” or you know, whatever, just give them respect and be nice.
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