In episode No. 8 of the Femin • Is series, I sat down with painter and Assistant Director of UMKC’s Womens Center, Arzie Umali. We talked about her research into representation of women artists in KC institutions, her work at The Women’s Center, and her work as a painter.
Featured Image is of Arzie Umali’s portrait for the Femin • Is project, consisting of text from Linda Nochlin’s 1971 essay Why Have There Been No Great Women Artists?
From her days as a graduate student to now, Arzie Umali has kept feminism and the art world closely entwined. With a precedent set by the famed Guerrilla Girls in making tallies of the number of women artists receiving exhibitions in New York museums, Umali looked at institutions closer to home to look at representation of women artists.
I wanted to look at this history and talk about how the research was done, as well as put out a call that this work needs to be done again.
Additionally, we talked about Her Art Project, a program initiative Umali started at The Women’s Center at the University of Missouri Kansas City. As we talked about its past, present, and some exciting plans for the future, it’s clear that Her Art Project is close to Umali’s heart.
Diving into her own work as a painter, we learn of a lasting influence from another female artist on her choice of subject matter. You can view more of her work on her website at www.arzie.com.
Lastly, we find that even her personal work has taken on a role of reaching out to others as evidenced by our conversation about a project that started out as a two-woman show but morphed into a community exhibition. Arzie Umali and her advocacy for women and the arts is here to stay.
Lastly, here is Arzie’s full portrait!
This episode of KC Art Pie is made possible through an Inspiration Grant from