Women by Women

BAU photography show opens Saturday

Diana Vidal’s inspiration for By Us, a group show she’s curating at the Beacon Artists Union gallery, is quantifiable.

“In 2019, 15 to 25 percent of works shown in galleries were done by women, when the overall demographic of artists is 50/50,” she notes. “Just 11 percent of work shown in major museums is by women. It’s going up, but it’s still a large gap.”

In a small but determined way, Vidal hopes to chip away at that imbalance with the BAU show, which opens on Second Saturday (April 10) at 506 Main St. She solicited and selected photographic portraits of and by women to assemble “a contemporary study of portraiture through the female gaze.” It is the first show she has curated, although she says she has “always enjoyed seeing how other people interpret the medium.”

Vidal, who lives in Beacon and has a degree in studio art from the University of Rochester, asked photographers she knows and others she discovered on Instagram. Some have never exhibited their work.

Asked if she could tell if a portrait had been taken by a woman, Vidal hesitates before replying. “Overall, there’s something different when a woman takes a photo of herself or another woman,” she offers. “There’s a softness, an understanding that comes through. Body is taken into consideration in a different way. Women shooting other women carry with them ‘This is how I want to be seen.’ ”

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