Memoir of women’s movement offers personal insight

Author to give presentation at SOMOS in Taos


New Mexico author Sabra Moore’s vividly illustrated memoir chronicling 22 years of her life, art, and collaboration with other women artists at the center of New York City’s “second feminist wave” is the focus of a presentation this week at SOMOS.

Moore is planning a reading and discussion based upon her 2016 book, “Openings: A Memoir from the Women’s Art Movement, New  York City, 1970-1992” Friday (June 15), 5:30-7 p.m., at SOMOS, 108 Civic Plaza Drive in Taos. Admission is free and the public is invited.

“Through Moore’s witty, nuanced, and poignant narration, readers follow the stories of these bold, trailblazing women as they find ways to create personally and politically meaningful artworks, exhibitions, protests, and institutions in response to war, environmental degradation, violence against women, struggles for reproductive freedom, and racial tension — all while fighting for greater opportunities for women in the art world,” according to press from the book’s publisher, New Village Press.

“Moore brings the complexity of this era alive thanks to meticulous journals she kept and her generous inclusion of fellow artists. Gracefully mixing detailed historical accounts, poignant personal narratives, and thoughtful introspection about art, writing, identity, family, and dreams, she illuminates the breadth of women’s struggles and triumphs.”

Among her stories are particulars of her work as a counselor in New York City's first legal abortion clinic (including organizing union contracts for the clinic workers), her own nearly fatal abortion in Guinea, and her abuse and attempted murder by her former art teacher.

She writes about organizing protests for representation of women at the Museum of Modern Art, creating politically charged exhibitions with her peers in New York and beyond, and editing the collaborative feminist art journal, Heresies, with the Heresies Collective.

Chellis Glendinning, author of “My Name is Chellis and I’m in Recovery from Western Civilization” had this to say about Moore’s book, “Openings puts you right there — at the heart of the passion, brilliance, and creative chaos of the feminist art uprising … an intimate and soulful glimpse into a critical epoch.”

And, Rachel Kauder Nalebuff, playwright, creator of “My Little Red Book,” and co-editor of “The Feminist Utopia Project”” said Moore's memoir is “radical not only because it frames feminist art history as central, but also in its very telling, where monumental events in the art world stand equal to Moore's personal life, her dreams, and her poetic tenderness.”

Moore is an artist, writer, and activist.

After moving to New York City in 1966, she became an integral creative force within the feminist art movement. She was president of the NYC/Women’s Caucus for Art, a key organizer of the 1984 demonstration against MoMA for excluding women and minority artists, an active member of Women Artists in Revolution and Women’s Action Coalition, and a leading organizer and creator of several large-scale women’s exhibitions in New York City, Brazil, Canada, and New Mexico.

Her artistic and political involvement was showcased in the feature length film The Heretics (2011). Moore also worked for 30 years in NYC as a freelance photo editor for publishers such as Doubleday, Harper Collins, American Heritage, and Random House.

Her newest work is showing at the New Mexico Capitol Rotunda in Santa Fe, and her most recent major solo show, “Out of the Woods,” was at the Harwood Museum in Taos in 2007.

Moore authored and illustrated the trade book “Petroglyphs: Ancient Language/ Sacred Art” (1997), and her artist’s books can be found in several museum collections, including the Brooklyn Museum and the Museum of Modern Art in NYC.

Moore was born in Texas in 1943, graduated from the University of Texas in 1964, served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Guinea, Africa in 1964–66, lived in Brooklyn, N.Y. from 1966–96, and has resided in Abiquiú, N.M. since 1996.

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