Game Changers is a new art series that celebrates women-identifying, American athletes who have achieved great athletic success but have also overcome significant bias and discrimination only to positively change their respective games, the sports industry, and become leaders in their field and beyond. The portraits celebrate the athletes' strength, perseverance, power, athleticism, and leadership and highlight particularly important moments and aspects of their career. The series references but rejects the little-known art historical movement of Woman Power portraits, which dictated that portraits of women in positions of power were only permissible if they mimicked preexisting masculine roles/portraits or fictional male characters. My painting approach rejects these limitations, masculine archetypes, and the male gaze. They aim to set new representational standards of women in power and with great strength.
To create these images, the paintings are mixed media of oil, embroidery thread and other craft materials/techniques. I use different craft material and techniques from embroidery to punch needle to sequinning to beading, etc. to show how craft mediums can function like paint. I use these methods to not just create form, but to also show how crafts – still stereotyped for their patriarchal femininity and domesticity – can be used to represent power and strength. Using craft and textiles in this series, also highlights how frequently athletes’ uniforms and appearance are harshly judged, politicized, and gain disproportionate attention over their performance than male athletes.