Gallery Tally is a call to action for gender equity, a crowd-sourced online platform visualizing the ratio of male and female artists in contemporary art galleries worldwide.
In our Fresh Talk episode with Los Angeles based artist Micol Hebron, she introduces Gallery Tally, an online, crowd-sourced project she launched in 2014. So far, more than 180 artists have collected and visualized statistical data representing ratios of male and female artists in contemporary art galleries around the world. Here are a few of the posters they’ve created to exhibit on the tumblr site. Read more about the project HERE. See below this photo gallery the CALL for PARTICIPATION.
From the Gallery Tally Facebook page—THE CALL for PARTICIPATION:
Design and print/produce a poster that represents the gender statistics of one of the top commercial, contemporary art galleries on the list below. Posters must be 2’ x 3’ (either horizontal or vertical orientation)and can be any medium – digital, photographic, drawing, collage, etc.
According to the US Census, 50.15% of the population in LosAngeles is female. Undergraduate BA and BFA programs in studio are approximately 80% female, and 20% male. On average, MFA programs in the U.S. are approximately 60% female, 40%male. In Los Angeles, over 70% of the artists represented in the top 100 galleries are male.
The Gallery Tally poster project follows a strategically collaborative working model that has been common among feminists and activists for decades. A collaboration among artists results in the creation of a horizontal or rhisomatic labor structure, rather than a hierarchical (and patriarchal) one. We have engaged in a positive, creative response to this very negative data. The data has provided an opportunity to build a new community of concerned and engaged citizens in the art world, and to showcase each individual artist’s creative voice within the group collaboration. It is a response and alternative to the hegemonic, hierarchical, patriarchal, heteronormative ‘standard’ that has unjustly dominated the art world for far too long.
While it is a common assumption that there is a male-biased imbalance in gender representation in the art world, the data – the actual numbers of artists– have not been visualized and publicized since the Guerrilla Girls’ efforts in the 1980s. (though the artists of the Gallery Tally project are NOT anonymous).
The fact that so many artists from so many cities are involved is indication of the significance, impact, and current relevance of this issue. By raising questions about the simple(ified) gender ratios(male/female), other concerns are immediately raised. What about: Representation of queer artists? Artists of color? Disabled artists? Older artists?
By posing the simple question of male/female ratios, many other questions quickly arose, though none of these questions were new. (sales, grad school, magazine ads, collectors…) as did interest in doing this project in other cities. There are now cohorts in Santa Fe, Philadelphia, New York, Berlin, and London who have begun to count.