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Woman's Building Archive

Oral Herstories

Two videos

As part of the research for the exhibition, a series of interviews with women artists and writers involved in the Woman's Buidling was commissioned by Otis College. They have been compiled into the following playlists:

Individual Stories

Biographical information correct as of 2012.

  • Anne Gauldin co-founded The Waitresses and Sisters Of Survival collaborative performance art groups which grew out of the feminist art community at the Woman's Building.
  • Betty Gordon came to the Women's Building in 1976 to pursue her journey as an artist. While earning an MA in Healing Art Making at The Feminist Studio Workshop, Betty developed and implemented a teaching practicum exploring imaginative thinking as a learning space.
  • Bia Lowe's essays have appeared in many magazines and journals, and anthologies including The Kenyon Review, Harper's, and Helter Skelter: L.A. Art In The 1990s (Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art.) Her first book, Wild Ride won the 1996 QPB New Visions Award for creative non-fiction.
  • Bruria Finkel creates works of art in a variety of media in the form of both temporary and permanent installations. She helped found the Los Angeles Council of Women Artists (LACWA) to protest gender discrimination at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art in 1968, She also served as a board member of Womanspace in 1970.
  • Carol Chen started out as a chemistry pre-med student at Occidental College in Los Angeles. She became interested in graphic design when she took classes at the Woman’s Building from Susan King and Cindy Marsh. She learned both the meticulous method of working a press and the creativity of experimenting. Carol later became an executive at Sony Music.
  • Cheri Gaulke joined the Feminist Studio Workshop in 1975. She later became faculty, WB artist-in-residence, Building manager, and Board member. She also cofounded collaborative performance groups Feminist Art Workers and Sisters Of Survival.
  • Cheryl Swannack moved to L.A. to become part of the Feminist Studio Workshop. Her first project was to assist Sheila de Bretteville in finding and remodeling the WB. She went on to work with Lily Tomlin and Jane Wagner on the Search for Signs of Intelligent Life in the Universe.
  • Cynthia Marsh was on faculty at the Woman's Building in Los Angeles from 1973 to 1978. Marsh served as the Chair of Communication Arts at Otis from 1992 to 1995. She is now on faculty at University of Tennessee at Austin Peay. Part I and Part II
  • Deena Metzger was on faculty at the Feminist Studio Workshop, she headed the Women Writer's Series and the Woman's Words Conference. Deena is a poet, novelist, essayist, storyteller, teacher, healer, and medicine woman who has taught and counseled for over forty years.
  • Eloise Klein Healy, Distinguished Professor of Creative Writing Emerita and founding chair of the MFA in Creative Writing Program at Antioch University Los Angeles, is the author of six books of poetry.
  • Feminist Art Workers is a collaborative performance art group founded in 1976 by Nancy Angelo, Candace Compton, Cheri Gaulke, and Laurel Klick and later included Vanalyne Green. They incorporated techniques of feminist education into participatory performance structures.
  • Gilah Hirsch is a painting instructor at California State University Dominguez Hills with many paintings, prints, photographs, and videos in numerous exhibitions, and has had over a dozen articles published. She has evolved several innovative psychotherapeutic practices in creativity enhancement as well as a system of behavioral therapy.
  • Gloria Feman Orenstein is Professor of Comparative Literature and Gender Studies at USC. She was the co-creator of The Woman's Salon for literature in NY in the 1970s, and the author of several books. Her work has focused on "The Women of Surrealism," and she was the first to write on the that topic.
  • Great Lady Rising Event - As told through photos and interviews with Cheri Gaulke, Leslie Labowitz, and Cheryl Swannack, this is the story of installing Kate Millet's statue to the top of the Woman's Building in 1977.
  • Helene Ly was born in Saigon of Chinese parents. She moved to Paris to study art and later to Los Angeles in 1980 where she participated in the Feminist Studio Workshop. She went on to study Urban Design and Architecture at UCLA and later worked for 25 years for the L.A. City Planning Department.
  • In Mourning and Rage - Documentation of a performance by Suzanne Lacy and Leslie Labowitz from 1977. Their ongoing collaborative work was pivotal in the production of radical new approaches to public performance and the development of alternative networks to support artists.
  • Jerri Allyn is a founding member of The Waitresses and Sisters Of Survival. She has received many grants for her work including from the New York State Council NEA. She directed programs at the Bronx Museum and has been on faculty at Otis and Pitzer College, among others.
  • Conversation between Judy Chicago, a founder of the Los Angeles Woman's Building, and Suzanne Lacy, Chair of Public Practice.
  • Kristen Grimstad and Susan Rennie created the New Woman's Survival Catalog, an important publication that documented the organizing efforts of feminists across the country in the early 1970s. The went on to co-found the feminist journal, Chrysalis Magazine.
  • Leslie Labowitz is a performance/installation artist best known for her collaboration with Suzanne Lacy from 1977-82 on their public performances on "violence against women." In '82, Labowitz started "Sproutime," an art/life project that has become a successful business. She hold an MFA from Otis.
  • Linda Nishio's diverse practice has included sculpture, photography, video, performance, printing, drawing, and digital images.
  • Linda Vallejo is a Los Angeles-based artist whose work uses mixed media to explore issues of history, spirituality, nature, and indigenous cultures.
  • Los Angeles Women's Video Center - Founded in 1976, the LAWVC was committed to making video production accessible to women artists. Through its productions about socially concerned video art and its documentation of WB programs, it was active in informing the public about women's issues and concerns.
  • Michele Kort has been a journalist for more than 25 years. She is currently Senior Editor of the iconic Ms. Magazine. She was a manager of the Woman's Building in 1973.
  • Mother Art was a collective of 8 women artists working on social and political issues, using performance, video, photography, installation and personal narratives. As mothers, they addressed issues that affect women and children. They were active from 1973-1986.
  • Nancy Buchanan was a founding member of several seminal artist's collectives: F-Space Gallery, Grandview Gallery at the Woman's Building, Los Angeles, and Double X, a feminist art network. She is currently on faculty at CalArts.
  • Paula Lumbard apprenticed with Faith Wilding while attending the Feminist Studio Workshop and earning an MA in feminist art criticism. She currently applies her visual arts knowledge to her firm FootageBank HD representing the work of cinematographers around the world
  • Phranc, the all-American Jewish lesbian folksinger, talks about her teenage involvement with the WB and punk music.
  • Rachel Rosenthal is an internationally recognized pioneer in the field of feminist and ecological performance art. Her revolutionary performance technique integrates text, movement, voice, choreography, improvisation, dramatic lighting and wildly imaginative sets into an unforgettable theatrical experience.
  • Record Companies Drag Their Feet is the original 1977 video created by the L.A. Women's Video Center to document the media performance by Leslie Labowitz.
  • Ruth Weisberg teaches drawing and printmaking at the USC Roski School of Fine Arts. She works primarily in painting, drawing and printmaking. Her work is widely exhibited, with her most recent exhibitions including "Ruth Weisberg: Unfurled" at the Skirball Cultural Institute, Los Angeles, and "Michigan Collects Weisberg" at Eastern Michigan University.
  • Interview with Sheila Levrant de Bretteville, an AIGA "Design Legend." She was a founder of both the WB and Otis Communication Arts and now directs Graduate Studies at Yale. Interview with de Bretteville by scholar Jenni Sorkin
  • Sisters of Survival (S.O.S.) is a collaborative performance art group founded in 1981 by Nancy Angelo, Jerri Allyn, Anne Gauldin, Cheri Gaulke, and Sue Maberry that focused on anti-nuclear issues.
  • Susan E. King joined the Feminist Studio Workshop where she started writing and making artists' books. She was on faculty and served as Studio Director of the Women's Graphic Center at the Woman's Building. A trade edition of her artist's book, Treading the Maze, was published Chronicle Books in 1997.
  • Susan Mogul's Women's Building is a humorous, autobiographical memoir. Her documentaries have been screened at film festivals, museums, and on television internationally. She has received numerous commissions including from the Guggenheim Foundation, ITVS, National Endowment for the Arts, and the Getty Trust. (Video removed from the playlist at the artist's request; now available at VDB)
  • Suzanne Lacy is best known for her work with feminist and social-justice issues, and in her four-decade career, has worked in various media, including installations, video and performance art. Her work addresses social issues such as sexual violence, poverty and incarceration. She is Chair of the Otis Public Practice program.
  • Terry Wolverton spent thirteen years working and creating at the Woman's Building where, in addition to producing performance and literary art, and the Lesbian Art Project.
  • Vanalyne Green is an artist, writer, and teacher. Her video art has screened extensively, including the Whitney Biennial, the Museum of Modern Art, NY, the Rotterdam International Film Festival, the Videotheque de Paris, and the Guggenheim Museum, among others.
  • The Waitresses performance art group created work that humorously addressed the issue of women and work. They performed all over Los Angeles in restaurants, public sites, and the DooDah Parade.

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