Every year, Women’s History Month offers an exciting opportunity to explore, celebrate and learn more about the fantastic women that helped shape the culture and progress of New York City and the greater US. To commemorate the month, visitors can choose from exciting exhibits showcasing female artists at the MoMa and the Whitney, or take a unique walking tour of New York’s influential women. Alternatively, a visit to the recently erected Statues for Equality might be just the right activity to mark the occasion.
The Story Behind the Statues
In August of 2019, global public activists and artists Gillie and Marc launched the Statues for Equality movement in New York City. Gillie and Marc have been dubbed “the world’s most loving artists” and have created some of the world’s most innovative sculptures. Themes of love, conversation, and equality unify the majority of their work. In 2019, they were inspired by the 100th anniversary of the 19th amendment—which granted women the right to vote—and decided to highlight how far we have yet to climb when it comes to gender equality in New York’s public art scene. Prior to the movement’s launch, just 3% of New York City’s statues were of women. After the movement began by erecting its first ten statues, that number jumped from 3% to 10%. With new statues planned for New York and worldwide, Gillie and Marc hope that other artists and activists will join the global movement to balance gender representation in public art.
Where to Visit
Before Statues for Equality landed in NYC, just five statues of non-fictional women existed in the city. These historic statues—which still stand today—commemorate Eleanor Roosevelt, Harriet Tubman, Joan of Arc, Gertrude Stein, and Golda Meir. The ten new statues erected by Statues for Equality continue to honor women from different industries who have had a lasting impact on our world. To see the larger than life bronze statues of Cate Blanchett, Oprah Winfrey, Janet Mock, Cheryl Strayed, Tracy Dyson, Jane Goodall, Gabby Douglas, Nicole Kidman, P!nk, and Dr. Terarai Trent, head to 32 Old Slip (just a twelve-minute walk from The Wagner) where these sculptures are displayed with pride and glory.