Interview with Founders Jenn Dierdorf and Kelsey Shwetz
The roots of a tuft of wild grass pulled up from the ground form an intriguing network of living fibers, interlaced with earth. This tenacious nest is a fitting visual for the perennial phenomena of women’s grass roots art collectives found around the world. Springing forth in the ‘70s collectives such as SOHO20, Artemisia, Women’s Building, Guerilla Girls, Las Damas de Arte, and WARM have provided support and opportunities for women not otherwise readily available in the staunchly patriarchic art world. In the subsequent decades women’s art collectives have proven to be a fertile, popular and diverse multi-purpose force, although unfortunately mainstream institutions have under-acknowledged their impact. Art Historian Kathleen Wentrack, PhD, observes, “[The] numerous exhibitions devoted to feminist art in the last decade or so [devote] little attention to collectives, and [there is] a lack of historical studies of collectives and their influence on contemporary art practices, which continue to be influential to the present day.” This exhibition, “Slečny od maliarskeho stojana,” which translates as “Ladies of the Easel,” presents an opportunity to document the origins of a thriving women’s art collective called LP (formerly known as Lady Painters) founded in 2015 by Jenn Dierdorf and Kelsey Shwetz in Brooklyn, NY. When conceiving of the show, curator Juliana Mrvová used LP as a resource for selecting work. Paintings by Dierdorf and Shwetz, among others, are included in the exhibition, which is presented from June to November 2019 in four cities in Slovikia: Bratislava (the capital), Banská Bystrica, Trebišov and Rimavská Sobota. As an early and on-going member of LP, I’m pleased to have the opportunity to interview Dierdorf and Shwetz about their motives and goals for the LP collective.
Anne Sherwood Pundyk is a painter and writer based in Manhattan and Mattituck, NY. She stains, crops and sews unstretched canvas to construct her work calibrating the interplay of spontaneity and control. She is a proud member of LP.Continue reading “Inside LP Women’s Art Collective”