Monday, September 25, 2006

The Montreal Arts Council is technically right, but...


I just got an email from the Conseil des Arts de Montréal, announcing Les Femmeuses Pratt & Whitney Canada Prize (pdf alert) and while I don't know the exact and precise meaning of 'bourse' in French, it gets translated into 'bursary' in the English press release.

A bursary is (for the most part) 'A scholarship granted to a university student in need.' So there you have it, the Montreal arts council gets a new president who happens to be a woman, and the first concrete move that they do is to announce that are no women artists who are professional and that all women artists are poor.

As I said in the headline, technically right, but not terribly forward looking. After a little research (10 seconds) 'bourse' in French means 'purse.' As in prize money received - looks like they need to get a better translator.

And it seems as good a place as any to link to the latest wake up call for women in visual arts. According to Jerry Saltz, in this article,
125 well-known New York galleries—42 percent of which are owned or co-owned by women—of 297 one-person shows by living artists taking place between now and December 31, just 23 percent are solos by women...On the fourth and fifth floors of the Museum of Modern Art, in the galleries devoted to the permanent collection of art from 1879 to 1969, there are currently 399 objects. Only 19, or 5 percent, of those objects are by women.

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