October 17, 2008

Featured Feminist: Donna Pattee-Ballard

Donna R. Pattee-Ballard is a working artist, photography instructor, and feminist. She received her Bachelors of Fine Arts from Ball State University and a Masters of Fine Arts from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Donna has been an exhibiting and working artist since 1991. She has created and shown four major bodies of work: Abandonment 1992-1994, Becoming 1995-1996, Uninvited 1996-1997 and the Sacred Feminine 2005-2007. She has displayed her work in many exhibitions and is a lecturer on the nature of feminism, gender socialization, and the role of the artist in the modern world. She is currently an instructor at the College of the Canyons, Department of Photography in Santa Clarita, California.

My click moment: I grew up in Indiana and although I had heard of feminism, I didn’t really know what it was about. When I finally left the Midwest and moved to Las Vegas for my MFA studies, it was culture shock for me. I was lost and really didn’t know who I was until I read a novel by Marilyn French called “The Women’s Room.” Then I suddenly found myself angry about what my family in Indiana expected me to be and how I as a woman was represented in “Sin City.” I now realize that I grew up in Las Vegas not Indiana.

Favorite reading material: Novels with strong female characters and travel novels.

Feminist Icons: I don’t have just one! Artist Mary Beth Edelson, Faith Ringgold, Judy Chicago, Miriam Schapiro, Betye Saar, Hannah Wilke, Jenny Holzer, and Barbara Kruger.

Personal role model: My best friend Darlene Kaczmarczyk. She is a fellow feminist artist and has inspired me a great deal.

My issues/concerns: Sarah Palin- do the republicans really think we are stupid enough to vote for a woman just because she’s a woman?!!! I’m insulted!

Favorite quote: “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.”

Marianne Williamson

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