‘Womanish’ exhibit makes space for female representation and celebration

'Womanish' exhibit makes space for female representation and celebration
“Womanish” exhibit (Photo credit: Eddy “Precise” Lamarre)

The representation of women in all spaces has been a rallying cry that has grown louder in recent years. The recent nomination of U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris as the Democratic vice presidential candidate points to a shift in sensibility when it comes to how women are viewed in spaces of power. Sisters Dionna and Danyelle Gray are looking to expand that view with their art exhibit, “Womanish,” which is currently on display in Chicago.

The five-story exhibit is an Instagram-friendly interactive experience featuring the work of female artists from around the country. Rolling out spoke with the Gray sisters about the inspiration behind their new exhibit and the message they are looking to deliver.

Tell us about the moment you were inspired to create this exhibit.

Dionna: We were previously working on an app to bring women together online. We hosted a few events for that app and realized the impact of in-person connection and having women come together in a safe space. We thought, “How could we do this on a bigger scale?” We knew experiential was really hitting the ground running and had the idea of an experiential exhibit catered to women‘s perspectives. The actual idea came to Danyelle in the shower, where all great ideas come from.

'Womanish' exhibit makes space for female representation and celebration
(Photo courtesy of Brianna Gray)

What messages are you looking to deliver with this installation?

Dionna: A few messages we are looking to deliver is that women are capable of doing anything we put our minds to. This was thought up and conceptualized by an all-women team. We want the message to be that women are powerful and capable of immense greatness. We touch on important issues facing women like the gender pay gap, censorship of women’s bodies, and mental health. Each room talks about an important issue facing women. This is, of course, fun and great for social media, but there are important messages behind every room and piece of art.

Continued on the next page.

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