I will be on vacation for the next week, so I leave you with this awesome piece of art which is on display through August 10 at the Huff Gallery at Spalding University in Louisville, KY.
“The Hot Flash Fan was created in 1985 and facilitated by renowned feminist artist, Judy Chicago. The Hot Flash Fan, an immense wall hanging, encompasses various media and materials including: elaborate knotting, roping, beading and stitching. In addition, the piece is swathed in vibrant colors, which enhances the viewer’s image of the realities and experiences of menopause.
This specific piece has particular historical significance because it was one of the first artworks to ever visualize the subject of menopause. Through its vivid colors and intricate detailing the Hot Flash Fan depicts the various myths, stereotypes, as well as lived experiences of women transitioning through the multiple phases of menopause. Though historically, representations of menopause have largely focused on the decaying of women’s bodies, as the piece indicates, there are also many reasons to celebrate menopause as one of the important phases in women’s lives.”
“The Hot Flash Fan, purchased by the (Kentucky Foundation for Women), was a collaborative project completed by more than 50 artists. “The project is a fan incorporating needlework, knotting, quilting, and painting in an expression of feelings associated with menopause.” Lead artists for the project were: Judy Chicago, facilitator; Ann Stewart Anderson, originator and principal coordinating artist; Ada O’Connor, principal embroidery artist/coordinator; Judith Myers, quilting coordinator. The Hot Flash Fan was on display at the Water Tower, home of the Louisville Visual Art Association, before being added to the Foundation’s permanent collection.”
I remember seeing this fabulous piece of art when it was first created–they handed out miniature fans as programs! I confess that now being in my 50’s, I love this piece even more. It is an astounding piece of feminist art and like The Dinner Party, deserves a space of its own and not just to be brought out of the vault every now and again.