This group of women was groundbreaking within the Arts community. Though there is still a long way to go in gender equality these women have paved, and are still paving the pathway towards acceptance for women in the arts, especially in the gallery world.
"They did what it takes to survive. They didn't care what society thought. These women didn't sit back and get screwed by society," says Alston.
“Reinventing the “f” word”
“In our contemporary history, the Guerilla girls did it right. They took to the streets of New York with all of the statistics of how few women were shown in galleries and shoved it in people's faces to the point where it could no longer be ignored. Their tenacity is so inspiring. The fact that they have kept going throughout the years is great. Now more than ever, we need to support women in the arts," Alston says.
“Nancy Graves played a large role in the progression of women in art. She was the first woman in 1969, to receive a solo retrospective at the Whitney Museum, where she displayed her famous Camels, sculptures. It’s not just about speaking up for yourself and being intelligent but it’s also just about being good at what you do and Nancy Graves was great at what she did," says Alston.
The Dinner Party exhibited in 16 venues, 6 countries on 3 continents to a viewing audience of over one million people.
“Judy Chicago really took a stance that was impressive with her dinner table installation that included a dinner table set with plates that looked like vagina’s, but society was upset. She did what she intended, which was to make a statement. It is woman’s art. I was also very inspired that she just dropped the Mrs. title and started using Ms. That simple change gave so much power to women, including myself, at that time and is still so powerful today," Alston shares.
“Mary Cassatt, to me, was a pioneer in finding equality for women in the art world. It was the 1800’s and she had to use a man’s name to even get noticed in the art world. She was coy enough and clever enough to outsmart the system," says Alston.
Though there are numerous women fighting for recognition in their art these are just a few of them that stand out in Alston’s mind.