Women use creative talents to speak for others at The Braid

By Christina Campodonico

Alexandra Weisenfeld’s “Crowd Control” explores the various ways people move through a troubled world

For women, silence was no longer an option in 2017. We roared and chanted at Women’s Marches across the globe last year, emboldened by the lyrics of singer-songwriter MILCK’s “Quiet” — “I can’t keep quiet, no oh oh oh oh oh oh” — to make our voices heard. The song became the unofficial anthem of the Women’s March and arguably the soundtrack for the year. Later, multitudes of women shouted “#MeToo, #MeToo, #MeToo” into cyberspace in the wake of a Hollywood kingpin’s fall. And more recently, at the Golden Globes, female celebrities declared #TimesUp on sexual harassment, abuse and inequality in any workplace.

It’s in this vocal spirit that “Speak Out,” a new exhibit on view before the premiere of Jewish Women’s Theatre’s salon show “The Accidental Activist,” opens at The Braid this Saturday. Curated by Georgia Freedman-Harvey, the exhibit brings together the work of artists who attempt to give voice to the voiceless through their creative practices.

Designer Jenny Rubin offers an avenue for maximum self-expression through her direct-to-consumer clothing line Jeri Malone and contributes textiles — including a print invoking peace — to the show.

Multimedia artist Corrie Siegel chronicles the lives of distant relatives impacted by Nazi occupation and Russian Cossack oppression in her artwork, which uses the visual language of topographic drawings to create portraits sourced from family photographs.

Artist Pat Berger has documented the trials and tribulations of Skid Row’s homeless during her decades-long career; she contributes paintings from her series “No Place to Go – Homeless in America.”

Alexandra Wiesenfeld’s drawings explore the “awkward, intense, saturated, dystopic, dyspeptic and prismatic” ways — to quote L.A. art critic Shana Nys Drambrot — that humans explore their contemporary world.

“Each of our artists recognized that we need to act to right a wrong, help the helpless, and find value and hope through words, actions and the lines they draw on paper and silk,” said Freedman-Harvey in a statement. “The artwork in ‘Speak Out’ expresses the unspoken feelings that many of us experience in our splintered world, and acknowledges our need to do something to speak up for those who have become isolated, invisible or sidelined.”

Like MILCK said, these women “can’t keep quiet” anymore.

“Speak Out” opens at 7 p.m. Saturday (Jan. 20) and remains on view at various times through March 5 at The Braid, 2912 Colorado Ave., Ste. 102, Santa Monica. Additional art talks happen at 6:30 p.m. on Jan. 29 and 30. Exhibit and art talks are free, but tickets are required for “The Accidental Activist” (see OnStage, page 20). Call (310) 315-1400 or visit jewishwomenstheatre.org.