Art imitates life amid year of the growing global women’s movement
Art.com, the world’s leading online destination for discovering and purchasing art, is naming 2017 “The Year of the Woman,” honoring the global movement of female empowerment and growing interest in female artists and artwork that celebrates, supports and energizes women’s issues, diversity and inclusion.
The declaration comes at the close of a tumultuous year, but one that heard women’s voices rise louder than ever, speaking out on equality, civil rights, health care, the environment, violence and, most recently, allegations of ingrained sexual harassment across a variety of industries.
“Art is a mirror for our broader cultural environment, and in 2017, we saw an increasing number of women turn to it as a powerful means of self-expression and inspiration,” said Kira Wampler, Art.com chief executive officer. “By declaring it ‘The Year of the Woman,’ we wanted to show our support for female advocates everywhere and honor the progress they’ve made thus far.”
Further illuminating the connection between pop culture themes and art, and inspiring the decision to declare 2017 “The Year of the Woman” were a number of Art.com sales and search trends, including:
- Three of the top 10 best-selling artists on Art.com this year were women: 1. Ursula Abresch, fine art and abstract photographer; 2. Silvia Vassileva, contemporary and minimalist painter; and 3. Sydney Edmunds, abstract painter. Edmunds moved into the top 10 this year, and together the three accounted for 28 percent of sales from the top 10 Art.com artists, up from 22 percent in 2016.
- Sales of “Rosie the Riveter” increased 25 percent on Art.com. The latest generation of female empowerment inspiration, “Fearless Girl,” had steady sales all year following its introduction in March, with a +133 percent increase in November as the go-to holiday gift of the resistance.
- Searches for art depicting Wonder Woman on Art.com spiked in June, making it the No. 1 search term for the month.
- As a company, Art.com is committed to continuing to stand with female artists, with plans to launch a “Women for Art” council in 2018. This group will be made up of established leaders (artists, curators and other creatives) who want to support and invest in up-and-coming female artists, as well as promote gender equality and respect in the arts.
A year of perseverance
Many national events and prevailing themes in 2017 factored into Art.com’s Year of the Woman declaration, and most required women’s perseverance amid a wide variety of hurdles and hardships.
Key moments from the year that were imitated by art in 2017 include:
- The Women’s March, which led an estimated 3-5 million women to rally in Washington, D.C., and cities around the world to advocate for women’s rights, immigration reform, health care and more.
- The installation of “Fearless Girl,” a bronze sculpture by Kristen Visbal that depicts a young girl facing down “Charging Bull” by Arturo Di Modica in the Financial District of Manhattan, emphasizing the importance of women in senior corporate leadership. Adding to the meaning, many feel it also represents the strength shown by women in the #metoo movement.
- California Congresswoman Maxine Waters inspired a rallying cry for the women’s movement with “reclaiming my time“
“Repeatedly throughout the year, our attention was drawn to the transformative efforts of progressive women, and it was clear the start of a new chapter was being written for the women’s movement,” said Wampler. “As a company with a deep commitment to diversity, empowerment and growth, we will continue to push for equality and support other women through the meaningful use and production of art.”
Wampler is among four top female executives to join Art.com in the past year. Prior to being named CEO, she was chief marketing officer of Lyft. Other women who have recently joined the company include Chief Marketing Officer Lisa Sullivan-Cross, previously vice president of growth at Pandora; General Manager of Emerging Businesses Larissa Pommeraud, former head of strategy and corporate development at StubHub; and Chief Experience Officer Christine Fernandez, former head of design for rider, global partnerships, and expansion teams at Uber.
With more than 17 million customers in 120 countries worldwide, Art.com is the world’s largest retailer of high-quality wall art and home décor.