Grlz Night brings feminist art to Gallery 5 this Friday

by | Feb 3, 2015 | ART

Founded upon the desire to create an encouraging workspace for underrepresented individuals, Grlz Night ( ___ ) Gang hopes to create a social space for women (and others) to gather and partake in an open artistic dialogue surrounding contemporary issues in art and feminism. This artistic collective will be holding their first gallery show this month at Gallery 5, featuring work by over a dozen local artists.


Founded upon the desire to create an encouraging workspace for underrepresented individuals, Grlz Night ( ___ ) Gang hopes to create a social space for women (and others) to gather and partake in an open artistic dialogue surrounding contemporary issues in art and feminism. This artistic collective will be holding their first gallery show this month at Gallery 5, featuring work by over a dozen local artists.

Grlz Night ( ___ ) Gang meets regularly to create an open space for artistic production and discussion. Started in 2013 by recent VCUarts graduate Rachel Livingston, the group began under the name Grlz Night Lady Gang, but changed their name to Grlz Night ( ____ ) Gang in order to “imply openness,” according to Livingston. “The idea is each member can put something in the blank, or leave it open, or not use it at all,” she says.

Even though the collective is named Grlz Night, Livingston notes that people of all genders are accepted into the group, as they seek to represent all underrepresented artists in the community. Member Rachel Ludwig says the group’s support has been important to keep her inspired and involved in art. “Getting out of school and keeping the momentum of making art, and having peers encouraging you to keep creating things, has been cool for me.”

Through their art and club meetings, the collective aims to address issues related to gender politics and feminism. When discussing her thoughts on the “boys club” in the world of art and music, Livingston says, “I want to figure out fun ways we can permeate that, and hopefully flip it on its head.”

The Grlz Night show at Gallery 5 this month is not actually the group’s first art show. In January, they held an exhibition at a local house-show venue called Art in the Attic/Show in the Basement. The show exhibited about 20 different members work, accompanied by 5 bands. The event lasted only a few short hours but was well attended and successful, and helped set the stage for their first gallery show at Gallery 5.

The Gallery 5 show will be on display from February 6-23, beginning with an opening reception on Friday, February 6 starting at 6 PM. The exhibition will feature a variety of works from about 20 members, and the reception will feature live music from local bands Way Shape Or Form, The Foam, and Cross Eyed. The collective has been open to all forms of media, and looks forward to showing a wide variety of different art forms. “I expect there to be a lot of awesome prints,” says Ludwig, in addition to painting, sculpture, and even performance pieces.

A photo posted by @grlz_night on

Not only does the collective participate in group shows, they also produce a quarterly zine, which showcases artistic works by members as well as outside submissions.. The opening on February 6th will also serve as a zine release party for the second issue of the zine, which has a loosely-focused theme of self-care.

Livingston and Ludwig both express their excitement at the group’s fast-paced growth, and the willingness of the Richmond arts community to participate. Since holding their first event in November, their group has increased to over 130 members on Facebook. The group has meetings regularly at various locations named on their Facebook page.

“I definitely want us to be out there, and be making people aware that we are here, and working hard to make sure different kinds of people have a voice in our community,” says Livingston.

Grlz Night will open with a reception at Gallery 5 on Friday, February 6 beginning at 6 PM. For more info, click here.

Marilyn Drew Necci

Marilyn Drew Necci

GayRVA editor-in-chief, RVA Magazine editor for print and web. Anxiety expert, proud trans woman, happily married.




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