Women-in-Residence is an archival database, to document the presence of Black, Indigenous, and of color women-identifying (BIWOC) artists and arts workers. These women take residence in museums, galleries, and in our communities, shaping and expanding the possibilities for care, criticality, and equity in the arts. Women-in-Residence seeks to document their histories and career trajectories to reveal the sources of support and hardship for women in the art world.

Search a network of contemporary BIWOC artists and arts workers whose work is largely underrepresented or documented. We highlight their presence and retrace their paths so that others can follow in their footsteps, learn of their significance early, and support their careers.

Why Women-in-Residence?

BIWOC artists historically lack gallery representation and face systemic disadvantages compounded by both race and gender. In a report produced by the “Arts in NYC” course taught at The City University of New York, Guttman College in Spring 2017, within a gender ratio of 70/30, for men and women represented by the top galleries in New York City, 80% of the reported women artists were white. Women of color artists represented only 5.6% of the entire dataset. The Women-in-Residence (WIR) project seeks to address this gap and create pipelines for BIWOC artists for representation and greater financial equity. WIR also recognizes the labor of BIWOC in the arts as well—as curators, cultural organizers, and arts administrators, that makes art by Black, Indigenous, and people of color communities visible—and includes their stories in the archival database.

What is the Women-in-Residence archive and who is it for?

Women-in-Residence (WIR) is for the study and exploration of Black, Indigenous, and of color women-identifying (BIWOC) contemporary artists—across visual, sonic, installation, and performance mediums—and arts workers. Currently, WIR database is in its early stages. The archival database will include the following features:

  • Oral history interviews with Black, Indigenous, and of color women-identifying artists and arts workers
  • Digital archives of the work and papers of interviewees
  • Data visualizations about the current state of the arts field for BIWOC, based on data points from the oral histories and other participant surveys
  • A professional network database to aid BIWOC in forming a professional network in the arts and culture field
  • Instructional videos by artists and arts workers to offer insights and educational content on career development (such as curatorial practice, artistic techniques, how to apply to residencies or fellowships, etc.)
  • Downloadable curriculums for educators to use these interviews and archives in their lesson plans

WIR is an open archive, accessible to curators, scholars, educators, and the general public.

Who can contribute to Women-in-Residence?

If you are a Black, Indigenous, or of color woman-identifying artist or arts worker who would like to be included in the database, or would like to suggest someone for the archive, please submit here.

About Brown Art Ink

Brown Art Ink, established in 2018 by co-founders Amanda Figueroa and Ravon Ruffin, is a nomadic community arts incubator to support the growth and sustainability of arts ecosystems at the local level for artists, cultural practitioners, and communities of color. Women-in-Residence is a project of Brown Art Ink.