'Don't Shut Up' exhibit showcases female artists

Don't Shut Up is a compelling exhibition this month featuring female artists confronting the issues of sexism, abuse, rape, and discrimination. Hosted by FIG (Feminist Image Group)* and on display at City College, the show aims to lift women's voices through art. On display are works in a variety of mediums, like the 40-block activist quilt from around the United States entitled The Healing Quilt.

PACIFIC spoke with curator and well-known local artist Linda Litteral about the show and what locals can do to support:

PACIFIC: How did you become involved with Don't Shut Up?
LINDA LITTERAL: The FIG group does shows by people in the group. In this case, artist Hannah Johansen wanted to look at sexual assault in the art world. As a survivor, I find it an important topic, so I ran with the idea. Don't Shut Up came out of my mouth at one of the planning meetings.

What are a few must-see pieces in the exhibition?
Marva Whitehead's Unarmed is about mentally ill women being murdered. To involve a wider community than FIG, The STARS Quilt is made by girls from sex trafficking. (STARS is a teen program for girls ages 12-24 through San Diego Youth Services that helps those involved with sex trafficking and exploitation).

Don't Shut Up

When: 5-7 p.m. Wednesday

Where: City Gallery, AH314 at San Diego City College, 1508 C St., downtown

Online: fig-art.blogspot.com

What is a surprising fact people should know about violence against women?
Thirty-five percent of women around the world have experienced sexual or physical violence abuse by a partner or non-partner. National studies show 70 percent of women have experienced physical or sexual violence from a partner some time in their lives.

What can locals do to get involved?
Locals can speak up. We are donating to the STARS program (Surviving Together, Achieving and Reaching for Success) with proceeds from the show. Come buy a catalog or coloring book at the show to raise money for them. Members of the community can share their stories about sexism or sexual assault on "The List" at submittothelist@gmail.com.

What would you like to say for the cause?
I think women are silenced every day from a "shush" to violence... this needs to be addressed.

FIG artists in the show include Grace Gray-Adams, Moya Devine, Dani Dodge, Nilly Gill, Janice Grinsell, Terri Hughes-Oelrich, Hannah Johansen, Linda Litteral, Grace Matthews, Kathi McCord, Bhavna Mehta, Kathleen Mitchell, Kathy Nida, Kim Niehans, Judith Parenio, Sara Parent-Ramos, Helen Redman, Ginger Rosser, and Anna Stump. Invited artists include Marva Whitehead, Emily Jaworski, Divita, Betty Bangs (Haydee Ferrufino), Berenice Straubinger, and Jessica Weeden.

*"Feminist Image Group (FIG) is a coalition of artists who meet to organize exhibitions, discuss art, see exhibitions, and support one another in our careers. We promote an inclusive worldview that allows all voices. As friends, we aid each other in our creative and curatorial endeavors."

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