When Mashonda Tifrere realized that women more times than not, were overlooked in the art world, she set out to change that. Mashonda founded ArtLeadHer, a platform dedicated to celebrating and bringing awareness to women in the art world. “I wanted to create a home dedicated to celebrating bringing awareness to women in the art world, and I wanted to do this through events and art education, and that became Art LeadHer,” she told Saint Heron last month.
We caught up with Mashonda to chat about ArtLeadHer and discuss their upcoming 1st Annual Group Exhibition
taking place at Joseph Gross Gallery, 548 West 28th Street.
Art Zealous: Hometown?
Mashonda Tifrere: Born in Boston, MA raised in Harlem, NYC.
AZ: Drink of choice?
MF: WATERMELON water.
AZ: Favorite female artists?
MF: Frida Kahlo, all time favorite.
AZ: Favorite gallery in NYC?
MF: Too many to name but a good “art walk” through Chelsea makes me very happy.
AZ: Who are some women you admire?
MF: I’m inspired by many, but I only look up to my grandmother, the woman that raised me. She was an artist in her own right. A seamstress. She crafted the most lace beautiful dresses.
AZ: How did you get into the arts?
MF: I started taking photographs when I was 9 years old. I began working in art workshops in the 7th grade. I bought my first piece of art when I was 18 years old. It was an Ansel Adams print. I knew I would be a collector every since that moment.
AZ: Why did you start ArtLeadHer?
MF: I wanted to give women in the arts a voice and a platform to network and showcase their talents.
AZ: Why is it important for young women to get involved in the arts?
MF: Creating Art is a very easy way to stay connected to your true self. Art is a safe place for the youth; it’s easy to get distracted when you’re young. Creating has a way of helping us stay focused.
AZ: What is the biggest challenge facing women in the arts?
MF: Being taken seriously. Women need to be in more exhibits and museums. More women need to step up and show their talents for this to happen. ArtLeadher serves as a bridge to connect those worlds. It’s also a place for encouragement and inspiration.
AZ: What is your advice for young women trying to make it in the art world?
MF: Stay focused and put your soul into it. Never let them convince you that you can’t do it!
AZ: Tell us about the upcoming group show.
MF: The upcoming show is graceful and bright, moody and edgy. A taste for every taste and a feeling for every emotion. This show is a collaboration of women of different ages from around the world- New Zealand to The Netherlands. They each have amazing stories and mantras, and the work proves that.
Follow Mashonda | @mashondatifrere