Los Angeles-based artist Lexx Valdez meditated on an empowering Solange Knowles quote as she and her co-curator Erin Yoshi planned When She Rises, a 10-week social- and ecology justice-themed exhibit to feature the work of 100 women artists from around the world.
The installation runs July 7 to Sept. 15 at SPARC, the Social and Public Art Resource Center, a women-founded community art institution in Venice, California.
“I keep going back to the Solange quote where she talks about building our own institutions and creating our own communities and that’s really been sitting on my heart,” Valdez said in a phone interview.
“Create your own committees, build your own institutions, give your friends awards, award yourself and be the gold you wanna hold my G’s,” Solange tweeted in February 2017. (The posts have since been deleted). It was the singer’s answer to the Recording Academy’s cultural bias issue that black artists, like Frank Ocean, were speaking out against.
Valdez and Yoshi are upholding this “do-it-yourself” approach to carry out their goals for the When She Rises exhibition, which include: to create a safe space for multiple generations of women, especially women of color, to collaborate; to diminish the culture of toxic competitiveness; and to raise awareness of pay inequity between women and men artists.