Oakland Museum’s “Hella Feminist” Asks Visitors to Challenge, and Expand, Meaning of Feminism

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Olympia Katherine Sherwood, Olympia, 2014. An art piece depicting a naked figure laying down, propped up by an elbow. There is a leg brace on the lower half of the left leg which is also wearing a healed shoe, and the figure's head is made up of a cross section brain scan and an ornamental crown.
Olympia Katherine Sherwood, Olympia, 2014.  (Courtesy of the artist and Walter Maciel Gallery, Los Angeles.)

The Oakland Museum’s new exhibit, Hella Feminist, was scheduled to open two years ago to mark the 100th anniversary of women gaining the right to vote. The pandemic pushed the opening into a drastically changed climate for women after the Supreme Court overturned the federal right to an abortion. Through the works of contemporary artists responding to our current moment and an examination of historical items from the museum’s archive, the exhibit challenges visitors to interrogate the history and our concepts of  feminism. Forum talks with the museum curators about the exhibit and what feminism means in this moment.


Carin Adams, curator of art, OMCA

Erendina Delgadillo, consulting curator, Hella Feminist exhibit at OMCA

Lisa Silberstein, co-curator, Hella Feminist exhibit at OMCA