IU-wide conference to look at 'Art as Resistance'

The 30th annual Indiana University Women and Gender Studies Undergraduate Conference will explore social issues through an artistic lens. The event, set for April 7 at IUPUC, will take on the theme of "Art as Resistance: Imagining Radical Feminist Spaces." Registration for the event is open through March 1.

New York artist Judith Linhares will serve as keynote speaker. Her appearance is made possible thanks to a collaboration with the School of Art, Architecture and Design'sIU Center for Art and Design in Columbus.

Long-standing event

Aimee ZoellerView print quality image
Aimee Zoeller is a lecturer for IUPUC and the director for the sociology program and coordinator for women's studies. She has helped organize the 30th Women and Gender Studies Undergraduate Conference, which is set for April 7 at IUPUC. Image courtesy of Aimee Zoeller

The Women and Gender Studies Undergraduate Conference's legacy is one of the longest for such events in the IU system. Aimee Zoeller, lecturer and director for IUPUC's sociology program and coordinator for its women's studies division, has been attending for the past eight years. Each year, the conference moves to a different IU campus throughout the state, including IUPUI. This spring's event will mark the first time it will take place in Columbus.

"It's a group of dedicated people who continue to create a safe space for students, especially for undergraduates who feel marginalized," said Zoeller, who teaches classes for IUPUC on sociology as well as women in health.

The 2017 conference took place at IU South Bend.

About the artist

Linhares has utilized feminism, pop culture and poetry to fuel her colorful, bold paintings that are characterized by broad strokes and engaging color choices. Some pieces explore the dichotomy of cool and warm colors on the same canvas. While working in a spontaneous style, Linhares finds that women often emerge as her subject of choice. They are usually portrayed in active scenes.

Frog, a painting by Judith LinharesView print quality image
"Frog," by New York artist Judith Linhares, was painted in 2014. Image courtesy of Judith Linhares

"The figures are girls who work. They are not posing. They're doing things," said Linhares in a 2012 interview with the art site Hyperallergic.

Linhares began her career in the politically charged San Francisco art scene before moving to New York City in 1979. She has more than 40 solo exhibitions to her credit and has received a trio of National Endowment for the Arts grants.

Zoeller said Linhares will be the first artist to speak at the conference. Past keynotes have worked in Indiana government or for nonprofit organizations.

"We sought out an artist because Columbus is so renowned for its architecture, art and design," Zoeller explained. "We wanted an artist who has an ongoing commitment to the feminist perspective."

The conference will mark Linhares' first appearance in Indiana.

Meet the artist

An open house conversation with artist Judith Linhares will take place at 6 p.m. April 6 at the Center for Art and Design, 310 Jackson St., Columbus. 

  • When: 9 a.m.-3:30 p.m. April 7
  • Where: Columbus Learning Center, 4555 Central Ave., Columbus