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Dinner Plates Art Project inspired by Judy Chicago

In honor of Women's History month I'm sharing a project idea inspired by an artist I have loved for a very long time - Judy Chicago!

Judy is an American feminist artist and educator and is still creating today at age 84! She was born in Chicago and actually changed her last name to Chicago to honor where she is from and to establish her own identity, free from any male connections. As an artist she created in many different forms including painting, sculpture, performance art, and even needlework. Wanting to disrupt the often male dominated art world, Judy began to create in mediums that were historically done by men and took classes in auto body work and pyrotechnics. One series she created was of colorfully painted car hoods and another series she worked on was setting off colorful smoke bombs to create a mystical effect.

One of her most well known works is titled, "The Dinner Party." (You can see it on view at the Brooklyn Museum.) This piece contains 39 place settings arranged on a triangle shaped table that pay tribute to women throughout history. It is no secret that women weren't often given a seat at the table and sometimes even left out of history but Judy actively works to change that through her art.

Project Materials:

  • white paper plate

  • paint sticks (or paint)

  • colored paper

  • glue

  • scissors

  • stickers (optional)

  • Sharpie (optional)

For this project we decided to make dinner plates to honor women from our own lives that inspire us. Invite your child to make list of women that they love or that inspire them - they can be someone they know or someone they have learned about. Pick one woman to focus on and now make a new list that includes things that might represent that person - what colors, shapes, or objects might represent that person?

First we used paint sticks to add some color to our plates and then using the colored paper we cut out shapes and objects to glue on to the center of the plate. If possible, see if you can use the paper to add some shapes that come off the plate like I did with my Yayoi Kusama inspired flower. I then added some polka dot stickers and a quote to finish off my design. My daughter made her own plate inspired by Mae Jemmison and chose to include some star stickers and a planet.

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