Art Meets Feminist Issues – Hobart and William Smith Colleges \
The HWS Update

Art Meets Feminist Issues

This spring, the artwork of Kathy Wong ’08 was on display in the library atrium. The project stemmed from an assignment that Wong received in Professor Susan Henking’s Introduction to Women’s Studies course. “The assignment was to identify a way to intervene in the world in which we live, drawing on the materials from class,” said Wong, describing the exhibit as a means to display issues of feminism and gain recognition for feminist artists. Titled “A Public Intervention,” Henking’s assignment asked students to identify a public (in this case, campus) and an intervention (a way of acting in the public arena) and undertake that action during the semester. It did not have to be artistic in its expression. “Kathy chose to use art. Others wrote letters to the editor, tabled in Saga and undertook other actions on campus and off which sought to bring the themes from the course out into the world,” Henking said. “The theme of the course, of course, is developing expertise about women—and the relation of this expertise to gender equity.” Wong’s project incorporated many art forms: photography, drawing, posters and collage. “What inspired me to do this project was my passion for art,” said Wong. “I also read a book that talked about feminist art, and I wanted to create something that would have a feminist and political message. I wanted to get people to think critically about the various feminist issues that were being displayed. I wanted people to see this and to consider either taking a women’s studies course or taking on the feminist issues being displayed.” Wong was a media and society major and studio art and women’s studies minor. Now that she has graduated, she plans to embark on a career in graphic design and advertising.