2024 Every Woman Biennial

Coin Cunt's by Suzanna Scott

The  Every Woman Biennial, the largest female and non-binary art festival (originally launched as The Whitney Houston Biennial in 2014), will present its 5th edition, March 2-March 24, 2024, with a media preview on March 1, 6-8 pm, timing with Women’s History Month and The Whitney Biennial, at La MaMa Galleria in downtown NYC. The theme and title, “I WILL ALWAYS LOVE YOU,” continues its homage to Whitney Houston’s music uplifting women which was the inspiration for the creation of the Biennial. The Every Woman Biennial aims to incorporate as many points of view as possible, to truly capture this moment in time from the gaze of women and non-binary artists; and as its following has grown tremendously over the last decade, the open call resulted in 700 applicants from which 200 artists were selected to participate in a dynamic floor-to-ceiling salon and performances.

The Every Woman Biennial is a cross-pollinated representation of artists working in a variety of mediums across generations (ranging in age from 14 to 83 years old), and racial and ethnic backgrounds. It is about discovery, community, and connection, presenting emerging and under-recognized artists, some having their first exhibition, alongside acclaimed feminist artists, including: Nadya Tolokonnikova (Pussy Riot), Swoon, Michele Pred, Liz Collins, Michelle Handelman, and more. All are coming together in a wildly eclectic salon in a range of styles including painting, photography, installation, sculpture, video, multimedia, augmented reality, textile, music and performance. A new and very special addition to I Will Always Love You will be a section dedicated to personal objects and small art works donated by the participating artists – a crafted item, talisman, amulet, spell, found object, crow's gift, lover letter, etc. – sharing and honoring the joy, nostalgia, hope and pain of being human. All artworks in the exhibition are for sale, with the talismans each priced at $25, enabling everyone to take home an artwork or memento of the show.

Love As Activism by Michele Pred

Michele Pred’s neon red heart surrounding a pink fist, Love As Activism, lights up La MaMa’s street window 24-hours a day setting the Biennial tone. Upon entering the exhibition, visitors are invited to be baptized in the Holy Rainbow Church of Matriarchy – Nadya Tolokonnikova’s pink and glittered take on a holy fountain titled Holy Squirt, 2023. Themes of matriarchy, gender fluidity, social and racial justice, women’s rights, and flipping the stereotypes of “women’s work” are a focus of many artists’ representations of their daily lives, bodies, desires, identities, and traumas; as well as immortalizing those they cherish – friends, lovers, mothers, grandmothers, mentors, and icons.

Power Trio by Airco Caravan

Danielle Scott’s, Queen of Angels, 2021, a mixed media collage on a vintage ironing board, originally presented at the Museum of African Diaspora, is an homage to the 26-year-long friendship with her mentor, the late Gladys Barker Grauer - artist, gallerist, activist, and politician, who feared being forgotten. Airco Caravan’s humorous and conceptual work honors African-American icons – Harriet Tubman, Angela Davis, Rosa Parks – in Power Trio, using spray cans and swapping consumerist labels for empowered portraits with witty activist slogans. Heroes closer to home and heart - mothers and grandmothers - are given recognition often neglected on gallery walls, in works such as Lifu Hu’s photo series, Grandma, depicting her grandmother having the courage to break out of her introverted nature to play in ways tha connect with the younger generation. Stacey Billups’ oil painting, Aquinnah Cliffs, depicts the joy of a day at the beach shared with friends.

Talia by Dominique Vitali

Cara Erskine’s pastoral abstract oil painting, Rainy Luncheon in the Studio Grass, 2021, features figures dressed in matching outfits that could allude to a kinship with teammates, or different aspects of the self through moments in life, in her ethereal fantasy weaving together art and historical references across time. Political and social issues are creatively explored in layered storytelling of dark subject matter such as Izabella Demalvys’, Saira, a portrait of one of Pakistan's female victims of brutal arson and acid attacks. Dominique Vitali’s, Talia, is a delicately drawn and disturbing contemporary depiction of the original Sleeping Beauty story, written by Giambattista Basile in 1634, in which she is aroused out of a deep sleep by the babies born from the Prince’s rape of her unconscious and unconsenting body. Caroline Voagen Nelson brings Lucy Burns - activist, jailed suffragette, and co-founder of the National Woman’s Party - to life in the amazing augmented reality print, Her Vote: Lucy Burns.

I feel my most gender queer in a wig cap by Chanel Matsunami Govreau

Clothing, as armor or restraint, is examined in a range of ways, including embroidered aprons and slips, and as a symbol of our consumerist destruction in Kat Ryals’s cast glass croc, Sailors Slipper (Traharella), 2023. Multi-hyphenated artist Chanel Matsunami Govreau’s convergence of wearable sculpture and gender expansiveness is presented through the soft armor of a wig in the photograph, i feel my most genderqueer in a wigcap. Side-by-side with figurative works are abstract and textile works including Fukuko Harris’ brightly colored clay and mixed media sculpture reinventing pussy hats into earthy organic forms in Women’s March. Suzanna Scott’s Coin Cunts are a multi-colored symbol of empowerment and equality for all with a vulva, symbolically turning the ubiquitous object of a purse inside out, and challenging the misogynistic and racist culture in the U.S. Classical miniature embroidered, and embellished, portraits by Karina Majkut, titled Fair Play, subvert the toxic masculinity of vintage baseball cards by obscuring the identity, and making them more inclusive, ambiguous -and sparkling.

Flash Mob choreographed by Natalie Lomonte, Every Woman Biennial, 2019

Short time-based media by 27 artists will play in a continuous loop, allowing visitors to quickly sample a number of videos, as well as longer works provided with a menu to allow visitors to select specific videos to view. Performance art and live music will continually enliven the Biennial, including a choir performance by Gaia Music Collective on opening day, and musical performances by Alison Clancy, La Galli, and more.

La Mujer by Emma Enriquez

Every Woman Biennial: I Will Always Love You

March 2 - 24, 2024
La MaMa Galleria
47 Great Jones Street, NYC

Media Preview: Friday, March 1, 6-8 pm
Opening Reception: Saturday, March 2, 1-4 pm

The 2024 Every Woman Biennial, is co-curated by a team of creatives and artists who have been the driving force managing and producing all previous Biennials with founder C. Finley: Molly Caldwell, Executive Director and Producer; Eddy Segal, Artistic Director; and Jerelyn Huber, Gallery/ Production Manager. Funding is generously provided by: The Deborah Buck Foundation, The Jonathan Rinehart Family Foundation, and Caldwellings Real Estate.