My graduate studies have brought my attention to the underrepresentation, documentation, promotion and pay of Texas female artists and designers. This is now the focus of my graduate thesis: “The Promotion of Female Artists and Designers.”.
Women in the field of creating and designing have not ever been equal to men (Fussell). This thesis highlights the inequalities of compensation, recognition, and exhibitions, and it seeks to find solutions to address these problems. There are 2.5 million full-time artists currently working in the U.S., according to the National Endowment for the Arts (hereinafter “NEA”) (“Artists”). As of 2016, more than a million of those artists were women (“Artists”). Under the NEA’s 2019 Statistical Report, designers fall under the category of “artist.” (“Artists”). Women also make up nearly half of all designers, a category which represents the most substantial artistic job field since 2009. (Cohn).
Female artists and designers, with few notable exceptions, receive less national recognition and are paid less than their male counterparts (Cohn). The 2003-2005 median income of women artists was $27,300, or 65% of the $42,000 median income of male artists (Cohn). According to one author, men working in an artistic field earn $63,061 per year and women earn $43,177, a difference of $13,406.77 (Kaplan). While the gender pay gap is improving, it is not yet equal.
Women have been involved in the process of designing and creating art since humans began creating (Garber) (Petteys) (Kovinick). Men are disproportionately credited with the creative art-making history of the United States (Eskilson). Lack of recognition, compensation, and exhibition opportunities given to women (Spencer) (Ratcliff) are only now recognized by mainstream publications (Ratcliff). This study delivers research-based solutions to address the underrepresentation problems facing women artists and designers. This paper explores many possible solutions, that could include but are not limited to promotion, group promotion, partnerships, educational outreach, workshops, and mass marketing.
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