Women have historically been painted as good sports, not good at sport. As for female opinion on sport, no one's ever really asked—or listened.
In the face of this oversight is "March Madness," an exhibition showcasing the sport-themed work of 31 female artists. Here female athleticism is, for a change, front and center, as we are invited to herald women's contributions to America's favourite past-time—and to consider sport not just as evidence of physical prowess, but as a conduit for issues around race, gender, culture, and more.
"The public is used to receiving sport through the mass media; it's this really larger-than-life kind of version that's highly glamorized," says exhibition advisor Kalia Brooks. "And at some point in your life you have to contend with who you are and what your identity is in relation to athletics—whether you are or are not an athletic individual—and how that shapes the rest of your life. These works also challenge the pre-conceptions of what we're taught to think the body should be. Whether that's the masculine archetype or the feminine archetype."
Deborah Roberts, "Fight the Power"
This piece about being empowered as a black woman by taking responsible for your image and controlling how that image is being circulated in the world. It's about having the courage to fight against assumptions and perceptions that others may have, and the power those societal assumptions still hold. It's also about celebrating differences, while embracing your own.