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Moran, Donna L. \"Beyond Censorship: Art and Ethics. The Influence of Social Media on Controversy, Recognition and Censorship in the Work of Guillermo Vargas and Numo Ramos,\" CAA 2011 Conference Session Participation

Catalog Essay 2009
As a woman born in 1947, I really came of age during the women’s movement in the late 1960’s and early 70’s. Although it was much more difficult at that time for women to exhibit their work in ‘name’ venues, there were also opportunities that resulted from the political awareness that surrounded the movement. In 1973 I was able to get a full-time university teaching job that I am sure would have gone to a man even a year before. There were many exhibitions organized that supported the sisterhood of artists. It was also the time of the ‘happenings’ and nothing was sacred during that time. Helen Frankenthaler was the only woman artist that I met during the 70’s who dressed like a lady. The rest of us were wearing overalls and work boots and trying to look as unfeminine as possible in order to be taken seriously- or not to be thought of as a woman at all, but as an artist. In the awareness raising groups that I was part of that costume was de rigueur.
The worst prejudices I have dealt with had more to do with being a printmaker instead of a painter. Somewhere along the way I decided that I just had to do the work I wanted to do and not spend too much time thinking about whether I had equal opportunities as a woman or a printmaker. However, I have always been aware of not doing work that I thought of as being ‘women’s subjects’ or anything that is overtly sentimental. I have children and a grandchild so the urge to do family centered work has always been very strong. At the same time, I will not do work that deals with love, loss, etc. that is not somehow abstracted. One of my recent images, Lagrimas Negras is in honor of my friend Hermes Almeida, who died last year of a brain tumor. It is not necessary for others to know the source of the ideas of my work, but they definitely come from real life experiences. AS I get older, it is not only women’s issues that inform my work, but dealing with loss, something that m=women might do differently than men,
I do not feel that women in this or other countries have equal opportunity in almost anything to men, but I do feel that the situation is better than when I was growing up, I have also made a firm decision to not to pay attention to any perceived limits in my life. I barely have time to enjoy my family, do my work as the Chair of the Fine Arts Department at Pratt and maintain a studio practice. Ignoring the negatives and forging on is the best I can do right now.
Donna Moran

American Contemporary Gallery
Annapolis, Maryland 2009
By John Bodkin
This series of prints should be looked at just as you would a painting because of the richness and depth of the tonal quality that comes from the thirty or forty layers of color silkscreened on each print. Donna’s passionate drawing and line quality vibrates with energy and drama as the full spectrum of color places each piece in a masterful aesthetic context. This wonderful series represents and major creative step in her work and vision.