Gurl Museum Day
gurl museum day
Interview responses from GMD's Founder, Diane Lindquist
For our newbie readers: What is GURL Museum Day?
There is a great gender disparity in the arts. GURL Museum Day (GMD) aims to propel female artists by making a platform that supports gurl artist journeys, stories, and talents, while sharing and inspiring gurls who love art, museums and galleries with our tours and community. We like to say that GURL Museum Day is one-stop destination for gurl art lovers and artists. We first have a community where gurls are encouraged to share their museums, galleries or art adventures by using the hashtag #gurlmuseumday. For those gurl artists who want to share their work, we have another hashtag that helps them do that: #supportgurlartists. In addition, we have a magazine (only on our website) where we share stories of gurl artists and their supporters. Lastly—and this might be what we are most known for—we have art related tours. Our tours are IRL montly meets to current museums and galleries. Some highlight women artists or just really rad art exhibitions and experiences. The gurls who attend get to meet other rad gurls who love art. For each tour, we invite a gurl special guest to join us. Our gurl special guest is usually in the realm of the arts. They are creators, designers, shop owners, art educators, art historians, or artists themselves. This year, we opened up shop for gurls who want to support us from anywhere they are. Plus, they get to actually purchase our GMD Button which is only given for free at our tours. We also have started to do media-sponsored gurl based art exhibitions.
How did GURL Museum Day come to life?
GURL Museum Day stems from my childhood. I didn't have many opportunities for recreation, but at school we had field trips. The first museum I visited with my teachers was The Holocaust Museum in Los Angeles. I was about eight years old. For those who have never been, it's very impactful. I felt shocked and learned so much during my visit. The exhibition was fully interactive (with videos and other interactive installations). It evoked in me so much emotion. The empathy I felt struck those feelings I had from children teasing me for wearing an eye patch or even the rejection of my father's approval (since I was not 'normal' to him). I could relate to the hate and singling out the Jewish community had endured. I remember tearing up, touched deeply by their struggle. It also opened in me the desire to learn more about others through the conduit of the museum experience. Thus my love for museums and galleries carried me through my teenage years. When I could I would use holidays to visit them. I learned about creating and exhibiting work. Some prints I made were shown at an LA River Gallery and, to my surprise, they were featured in the LA Times. I sold out half of my digital prints, which was a new thing for me. This also led me to volunteering in the expansion of the Downtown Los Angeles Art Walk and seeing art reshape the inner city. My gurl friends would tease me about the galleries and museums I would visit. So I invited them to go with me. The next museum we went to they invited their friends and, soon enough, I asked everyone to document their experience on instagram using the hashtag #gurlmuseumday. After a few more museums, other girls began to ask for information about how to be included. During one night of spontaneity—and lack of sleep—I developed the branding and website and GMD was born. I later discovered that only 5% of female artists had their work shown in reputable galleries and museums. That set in motion a series of events that deepened my mission to increase those numbers.
What did you do before founding this group?
I was and am still a visual multidisciplinary designer, creative director and artist. I split my time as Creative Director of Team Friday and as a freelancer for a diverse client roster, meanwhile still working on GURL Museum Day.
What happens on GURL Museum Day?
A typical tour starts with meeting at a pre-arranged location. We take roll call and have a brief introduction on what we do at GMD and how we got started. We get devotees that come every month, so I try to keep this brief as possible. We then introduce our special guest and break the ice with two questions. This is where the fun begins. I encourage the gurls to be open and that our tours are a safe zone with no judgement and it really helps. This is our bonding time so we can talk openly to each other. Depending on the art exhibition or experience we are doing for the day, I have different ways of going about each tour. Sometimes we have a curator leading us, sometimes I let the gurls wander and we reconvene at the end, or I lead the tour. All while talking and sharing our feelings on the art we see, recreation of it all, or just simple things occuring in our lives. We end the tours with what we are doing next month and sometimes we have post tours coffee or eats that are optional.
How can you join?
No membership is required. You can start engaging with our community using our hashtag or join us on one of our tours! Some of the tours have a fee and some are free to attend.
Do you have to be a GURL?
We use the term “gurl” to describe girls, women, and those who identify female. So you don’t have to be a gurl by biology to attend but you do have to identify female. We want to keep this as a safe space where gurls can be themselves without the gaze of men.
What’s been your favourite GMD to date?
I really enjoy when we curate our own art experiences. We so far have done two of them and those have been my favorite. The first one I lead the gurls down to Gabba Gallery Alley Project where we witnessed murals upon murals. The most recent one was leading gurls into the murals in DTLA Arts District while gallery hopping.
What is the most inspiring testimonial you’ve heard since GMD’s inception?
The most recent testimonial was seeing the community we are building connect with each other in business ventures each is building. One of the gurls reopened her family store in collaboration with Sweetgreen in South LA and it was so nice to see our gurls who come to GMD tours show up for her. Some of them even volunteered for her grand opening. A great part of GMD is this opportunity to network and build real relationships.
When’s the next GMD and how do I keep in the loop?
We are currently working on a directory for our gurl artists, an app and other exciting art experiences are in the works. To keep in the loop, visit our website. While there, you can sign up to get emails from us with all our latest updates or you can follow us on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook.
If you would like to contact us, email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org