Inspired by Renaissance composition and imagery, the first of my entries is a pastel drawing of myself and my 2 daughters. It was intended as a celebration of motherhood and was entitled Goddess. But in light of recent events, it should be titled My Body, My Choice and contrasted with the 2nd entry, a conte drawing entitled Biological Bondage reflecting a more realistic representation of motherhood without benefit of the full range of birth control measures we have had available for the past 50 years.
When I first heard that Roe v Wade had been overturned, I just cried. I felt bereft, as though I had lost all value. As a woman, I became invisible, hidden behind the potential life of a group of cells in my uterus. ‘Abortion is murder’. It must be nice to see things in such simple terms, but the reality is much more complicated. If left unchecked, biology would keep a woman pregnant throughout her childbearing years. It was not uncommon for women to bear 12 – 14 children (as my husband’s mother did) if they didn’t die in childbirth. The result was often poverty, starvation and more death. Which is murder?
I believe that birth control and abortion are the foundational framework upon which women’s rights can be built. Without control over our reproduction, we cannot hope to live a life of equality with men.
ABOUT THE ARTIST
I earned my BFA and MA from Western Kentucky University and was a graduate teaching assistant to renowned feminist artist, Judy Chicago in the creation of the environmental exhibit “”At Home’, a national touring exhibit, PBS documentary, numerous published articles and permanent research documentation at Penn State University. I also received a fellowship to study 17th century Dutch art at the Natl Gallery of Art in Washington, DC and create podcasts on women artists of the period distributed by NGA Educ Dept. I have been Educ Director of the Owensboro Museum of Fine Art, Gallery Director of the Kentucky Watercolor Society, Exec Dir of Learning Opportunities, Inc., Arts & Humanities Chair of McLean County High School, Curriculum Chair for Daviess County’s 21st Century Academy and have taught all ages in public and private elementary through high school, colleges and museums including Kentucky Wesleyan College, Western Kentucky University and JB Speed Art Museum in Louisville, KY.
I have exhibited, received awards and conducted workshops in Louisville, Chicago, Detroit, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Atlanta, Nashville, Cincinnati and Charleston, SC. In 2016/17, I curated a touring exhibit of Kentucky Women Artists and published A Celebration of Kentucky Women Artists: The Woman’s Perspective. I have been widely published in magazines such as Art Across Kentucky, CenterStage, Leo Weekly, Pure Uncut Candy, U S Society for Education through Art’s Teaching Voices, Kentucky Art Education News, Home Education, Sage, Traumatology, Women Studies Perspectives, and books Kentucky Women Artists: 1850-2000, Judy Chicago Art Education Collection, and A Community of Teachers: Art Curriculum Units by teachers in Arts & Humanities.
In 2022, it has been my honor to have exhibited in more than 13 exhibits across the country, including Woman Made Gallery’s “Generations” and to be installed as a permanent exhibit ‘An Artist’s Lifetime of Memories’ in the historic Elizabeth Munday Senior Citizens Center in Owensboro, KY.
© Frederica Diane Huff