Formally, I majored in Social Work and was awarded a B.A. degree from Suffolk University in Boston, Massachusetts. During my ten years employed as a social worker, I realized that poverty, sexual abuse and abandonment affect disproportionately the lives of women. Many had such low self-esteem that they had no idea that they and their children deserved better. Always a history buff, I wondered what and who it was in the past that created a world in which the power and dominance between the sexes is so askew. Too few of us look backward to learn how we evolved, to get some perspective on the mores of the present. It’s almost a cliche, but history is written by the powerful. That which reflects badly on influential forces is either omitted from the classroom or completely distorted. For the truth, one has to dig a little deeper.
After retirement and while experiencing the empty nest syndrome, I turned to ceramics as a creative outlet. My interest in women issues flowed easily and naturally into my work with clay, resulting in a current collection of 26 plaques entitled Images of Misogyny. Each plaque illustrates a particular abuse. The work stands alone and is self-evident, but accompanying statements and literature relate significant historical and supporting facts.
Self-taught, it is my hope that authenticity and passion compensate for the lack of a formal art education outside of several clay workshops, classes and similar available experiences. If my work has an added emotional impact that dramatizes the words, then I believe I have succeeded in creating art.
Feminist Artist Statement
One of the driving forces in the creation and assembling of the series Images of Misogyny was a thorough study of the role of women in Western culture throughout history. I found that some of the most important and transformative historical events affecting the courses of women's lives have rarely been included in processes of formal education.
History is a reflection of the values of the existing power structure and women's lives have never been a high priority in the minds of men. This series expresses the rage and indignation of one woman at the degradation, pain, suffering and poverty that other women are subjected to all over the world as a result of the malice of past generations and the indifference of today's scribes.
View Janet Polsky's CV (PDF)
Boynton Beach, FL
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