Celebrated Salvadoran Women Artists

Posted by: Mayra Barraza

El Salvador is probably no exception in the region in regard to its women artists.  There is evidence art work of aesthetic, creative and historical relevance has been achieved by numerous women artists, of which, sadly, little is know.

In 1996 a group of women artists and friends got together to share experiences on how colleagues were working and figure out what could be done to make their contributions to the artistic and intellectual discourse visible. I remember the year perfectly for I had just given birth to my youngest son, and breastfeeding him was an important part -for me, and him of course- of our first work meeting.

Our initiative set a short term path to investigate the working conditions for women artists in El Salvador and to make visible their artistic contributions.  Our project, which lasted a year, was named “Women, Culture and Development”, financed by the United Nations Program for Development and the Dutch Government and co-administered by the Fundacion Maria Escalon de Nuñez.

Key activities consisted in elaborating a diagnosis on the working conditions of women artists in El Salvador, organizing a Forum to discuss the results of the investigation and set forth a proposal for founding an association of women artists and, thirdly, coordinating a Festival of Women in the Arts with more than 100 artistic presentations and workshops by and about women artists.

The photos of celebrated women artists you see here, are part of an exhibition within the framework of that Festival. They are a valuable, if insufficient and incomplete, document to this date, of the salvadoran women who have dedicated their lives to arts and literature.

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