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Art Museum, Music team up for Women’s History Month

By : Erin Owens

In celebration of March being Women’s History Month, departments in Harpur College of Arts and Sciences are collaborating for a month-long tribute called “Counterpoint: Celebrating Women in the Arts.”

March became nationally recognized as Women’s History Month in 1987. At Binghamton, many faculty members believe it is important to celebrate great women throughout history, and they are using various events to do just that.

“In my reading and research I have been deeply inspired by the courage, incredible competence and achievement of women artists of past generations,” said Roberta Crawford, coordinator of strings in the Music Department.

Similar events honoring Women’s History Month have taken place in the past, but not in the last few years. 

“We really wanted to bring it back,” said Jackie Hogan, assistant director of the Art Museum. “We have had a positive response in the past and we are planning on a large, very positive response again this year.”

The University Art Museum and Music Department are collaborating to present the Women’s History Month’s opening week’s events, starting with a roundtable discussion at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 3, at the museum. Crawford will be one of the women included in the discussion, as well as women from Creative Writing, Studio Art and more.

“I’m really looking forward to seeing the Art Museum’s exhibit and participating in the roundtable discussion,” Crawford said. “It all sounds very exciting to me.”

Throughout the month, the University Art Museum will display works from its permanent collection by women artists.

“The museum has the opportunity to have the community come together and enjoy the art and artifacts that we have,” Hogan said.

Collaborations between different departments are not something that happens all the time, Crawford and Hogan said, making these events unique.

“I feel that collaborations such as these provide the University with the opportunity to fulfill an important part of its mission,” Crawford said, “which I believe to be ensuring students the best possible education and enrichment via exposure to, appreciation and understanding of a variety of academic and cultural disciplines.”

Hogan said that throughout the month, professors from various departments will bring their classes to see and write about the artwork displayed in the Art Museum. 

“Collaborations with other departments bring the University together,” she said.  “It makes it more of a whole, and less separated and individualized.”
Although the events celebrate women, Hogan said they are geared toward everyone, including the University community as well as the outside community. Many of the events are free.

In addition to “Counterpoint,” Ingeborg Majer-O’Sickey, associate professor of German and faculty director of Women’s Studies, is planning a feminist film series during March.

“Women are more than 50 percent of the population and yet there is still such a restricted view of what they have done,” she said. “Women’s History Month reminds us what women have done and what they will do in the future.”

The Women’s Studies Film Series will present six feature films throughout the month, including classics such as Antonia’s Line and Thelma and Louise. The opening night of the film series will be Friday, March 6, with the 1975 version of Stepford Wives being shown at 8 p.m. at the University Downtown Center, followed by the 2004 version of the movie. All films will be free and open to the public.

One event that Hogan and Crawford are particularly excited about is the midday concert in the Art Museum on Thursday, March 26. Hogan said that there has never been a concert in the Art Museum before, and expects it to be “fantastic.” 

Opening night for the month-long celebration is Thursday, March 5, and will feature a lecture at 7:30 p.m. in the University Art Museum by University Art Museum Director Lynn Gamwell. The lecture will be followed by an 8:15 p.m. concert by the Mobius Ensemble, a faculty piano quartet, in FA-Casadesus. The program will feature the world premiere of Wendy Wan-Ki Lee’s Piano Quartet.

The lecture is free; the recital is $10 for the general public, $5 for faculty, staff and seniors, and $2 for students.

Those involved with the celebrations hope the collaborations will help people learn more about women’s history.

“I hope the events will inspire and inform,” Crawford said.

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Last Updated: 10/14/08