Most women will know what these are

choice tools

If you’re a woman and have ever gone in for a gynecological exam you will recognize this medical tool called a speculum. I’ve had these devices for a few years, waiting for the creative inspiration to hit me so I could include them in an art piece. Every time I took them out and showed them to my women friends, every one of them squealed and asked me to put them away. Having a cold stainless steel speculum inserted into one’s vagina is not the most pleasant activity.

Yet we women in first world countries are fortunate to have access to gynecological care. In many 3rd world countries pap smears (collecting cells for cancer testing) do not happen because there are not enough qualified technicians to do them. In the poorest countries, many women have horrible child-birth injuries called  fistulas, often due to being young mothers. Most likely these women do not have  the choice to have birth control either.

The wrapping of the speculum in silk is my way of honoring these medical tools and our ability to get reproductive care.

I am entering this assemblage into the Northern California Women’s Caucus for Art upcoming exhibition


Women have something to “say” about war


Me, Judy Shintani, and fellow coastside alumni Judy Johnson-Williams, are in an art show which opens this Friday, 2/15. JFKU alumni sister Dorothy Nissen is showing her work in this show too.

“Acts of war make people behave in many different ways. The Women On War exhibit features images of war, not just the Iraq War, but all wars past and present seen through women’s eyes.”

February 15 – March 29, 2008

Solo Mujeres 20th Annual Juried Exhibition In Collaboration With Women Artists of the Mission Cultural Center for Latino Arts
Juried by Karen Tsujimoto, Curator at the Oakland Museum

In tandem, 2008 WCA Lifetime Achievement Award Winner Yolanda Lopez’s solo show “Women’s Work Is Never Done”

Reception: Friday, February 15, 7-10pm. Admission $5
Mission Cultural Center for Latino Arts, 2868 Mission Street, San Francisco, CA 94110

Panel Discussion: Wednesday, March 5, 7 pm

Selected Artists: Phoebe Ackley, Gretchen Blais, Lorraine Bonner, Claudia Chapline, Alejandra Chaverri, Vera Costs, Nuala Creed, Adriana Diaz, Ester Hernandez, Scarlett Manning, Aline Mare, Susan Matthews, Dorothy Nissen, Sandra Ortiz Taylor, Priscilla Otani, Helen Poole Newman, Kimberly Rowe, Judy Shintani, Susanne Slavick, Yuriko Takata, Tanya Wilkinson, Judy Johnson Williams, Holly Wong, Nancy Worthington, Eileen Zevallos.

This is the piece I am exhibiting called “The Remembrance Shrine” which has memories of Japanese American Internees, hidden behind shutters on this illuminated, wrapped bird cage.


Make an Environmental Postcard

I just joined the Northern California Women’s Caucus for Art and they are promoting a postcard show called “Sustaining our Environment”. I love some of the postcards already submitted that they are showing on the blog, WCA ArtWaves international. Check out instructions below to send in your postcard too which will benefit the UN.


This was done by friend Judy Johnson-Williams. A 3-D shaker box card, it is made from found/recycled foam core, tape, plexi, flowers, BART ticket and a butterfly.


A timely woven card from Donna Catanzaro of Windham, NH. She wrote,
“Made from just 3 of the hundreds of NH Primary Campaign junk mail pieces I received…and never read.”


By another coastsider I have not met yet – Alexis K. Manheim of Moss Beach, CA. It is made of used coffee filters, old tea bags and discarded tea bag strings.

Here are the details to enter. Sounds like fun. Do it!


Deadline Extended!!! February 15 2008
Theme: Sustaining Our Environment Postcards

Submit 4”x6” or Size 6 postcards made from recycled materials on the theme of “Sustaining Our Environment.” On the back of the postcard, provide your name, location (town, state and/or country) and materials used to make the card. Submissions will be exhibited during the February, 2008 WCA and College Art Association (CAA) annual conferences at Ft. Worth-Dallas, Texas. At the exhibition, works will be auctioned to benefit the United Nations. All entries will be documented on this blogsite.

No jury, no fee, no return. Postal delivery only.Mail postcards to P. Otani, Curator, Sustaining Our Environment, 263 Laidley Street, San Francisco, CA 94131 USA