Ventured to the downtown GRAM (Grand Rapids Art Museum) today and checked out the exhibits they are currently featuring.
This exhibit featured the women of Newcomb Memorial College who were known for being hardworking, skilled and independent, very different from the stereotype of the dainty, southern belle at the time. The women left their mark through the Pottery they created at the facility; which were uniquely handcrafted to interpret animal and botanical subjects, like the flora and wildlife known to the American South.
Newcomb Memorial College offered a liberal education and a social position for work. This school allowed women to master their crafts and develop entrepreneurial skills. However, it offered the opportunity to only white women. It was established to give women financial independence for those training in applied arts. It was really cool to read through the history of the work ethic developed, the sense of community gained and the recognition of these women as they gained respect through their creative talents. The college received awards and were able to use the monetary reward to invest in even more artistic freedom, using mediums they previously could not afford.
A new workforce of women was born. This educational experiment continues to inspire years after Newcomb pottery closed. I highly recommend checking out this exhibit if you’re in the area.
From this exhibit, it seems a common theme is true of these movements from history which repeat themselves. When we surround ourselves with those of similar interests and goals, and empower one another to live up to our own potential, truly great work can be accomplished. Great work takes time though, and cannot be rushed. It is with persistence, trial and error, where we see the pay off. I admire these women for the efforts they put into the art to become acknowledged.
Support those around you. I see no benefit in a world where we tear others down, or demean someone. Instead, these acts inhibit one from being our true self and expressing our creativity. With this mentality of support and hard work, our world could achieve great things.