Monday, April 6, 2009

Portrait #37: Vera

Vera's portrait might be one of my most accurate ones, which is suprising, considering how little it looked like her for 70% of the time I was drawing her. It was on one of the very first warm days, so the North Lawn was really happenin... so great to finally use that picnic blanket again right, V?

We decided that I made Vera look super Native American in this portrait. It definately has something to do with the combination of the jaw/braids/earrings. I don't remember ever doing a portrait where I inadvertently altered the sitter's ethnicity. I think I will try not to do it again... it might be problematic.

It was super nice for me and Vera to have special grrrltime together last week. Vera and I met through Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) and for a while were the most nationally active women in our chapter. We spent a long time during our drawing sesh talking about the national SDS women's caucus and the different ways it responds to sexism in SDS, especially "sexual assault" and how it's defined. Neither of us are involved anymore but still get lots of the emails, so it was really good to have someone to speak/think critically about it with. I used to spend a ton of energy writing articles about how I think the women's caucus should be organized, before realizing that a lot of my SDS work was not really going very far and had nothing to do with my local campus community, which I found much more important to work on.

Right now the organizing Vera is doing is mostly around the creation of a Student Union at Sarah Lawrence, basically meaning a rebuilding of our student government from the ground up, to make it radically democratic, more efficient, effective, transparent, accountable, etc. It is going to be TIGHT and I'm so proud of Vera's work... It's great to see how her and others' work in SDS really led to this project. So even if our chapter died, it was a really great learning experience for students here and we really applied those lessons. (Shout outzz to Michelle Lewin for taking initiative as senate chair. and being insanely employable. go get em!)

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