Workhouse Art Center’s exhibit ‘From Suffrage to Secretary of State’ focuses on the struggles women have faced and their battles today.
By Lynn Norusis
One of the original artists at Lorton’s Workhouse Art Center, Julie Dzikiewicz took inspiration for her latest show from her surroundings. In the 1930s, Lorton Federal Prison, now the Workhouse, held many of the suffragists in the same location where Dzikiewicz has painted her series “From Suffrage to Secretary of State” which will be shown this month.
Painted in encaustic, a long-lasting hot wax paint, Dzikiewicz’s pieces depict the battles that women fought during suffrage up to the challenges that women still encounter today.
“In some ways I feel like we are struggling to keep what we have right now,” says Dzikiewicz.“There are a lot of people who are working to bring things back, back in time to what they considered a more ideal era. The rights we have now are not guaranteed. We have to keep fighting and working to just stay where we are right now, let alone push ourselves ahead.”
Keeping the conversation of the moment, Dzikiewicz uses today’s women—Maria Alyokhina from Pussy Riot; Malala Yousafzai, the Pakistani teen fighting for female education; Texas State Sen. Wendy Davis; and former Secretary of State Hilary Clinton—along with famous suffragists of the past—Alice Pauls, Lucy Burns and Doris Stevens—to capture a younger audience to both educate and inspire.
“I hope they will appreciate the rights American women have now, and the fact that there’s still a lot of women around the world that don’t have the right to vote, who want the same rights that we have. Or, I hope it will pique their interests in learning more or appreciate the historic nature of the Workhouse itself.”
‘From Suffrage to Secretary of State’ March 5 – April 6
Meet the Artist Julie Dzikiewicz
Studio 5 Gallery, Workhouse Art Center
March 8 from 6-9 p.m.