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Daughters of Dada To Celebrate Beato, Women’s History Month, #IWD with #TargetDressChallenge Dancing Queens

March 8, 2021

Michelle Obama:

“There is no limit to what we, as women, can accomplish,” says Michelle Obama.

And today, International Women’s Day during Women’s History Month, is a great day to recognize those accomplishments of women AND to move forward without limits to what we will do next!

Who’s up for a VIRTUAL #TargetDressChallenge and Dancing Queens Challenge! 

Listen to me read this blog post as a PODCAST via Anchor on Spotify.

International Women’s Day 2021 Theme: #ChooseToChallenge

While the #TargetDressChallenge and making a Dancing Queen video challenge is unlikely what they had in mind, this year’s theme seems on target (haha!) We’ve certainly had our share of challenges in 2020 and ongoing into 2021.

But a challenged world is an alert world, one where individually we are each responsible for our own thoughts and actions, and where we can choose to challenge and call out gender bias and inequality to participate in the creation of an inclusive world.

From challenge comes change, so let’s all choose to challenge this International Women’s Day.

One woman who clearly challenged assumptions about women, where they belong, and their abilities? 

Beatrice Woods (1893-1998), ceramicist, surrealist, and the “Mama of Dada” who said “I owe it all to  art books, chocolate and young men.”

Portrait © Donna Granata 1995

In this 1995 portrait by another woman who challenged the system, Donna Granata founded of Focus on the Masters, Beato is surrounded by men and chocolates which she credits along with art books with living and flourishing until she was 105. Focus on the Masters has extensive archives and documentation about Beato for those who’d like to learn more.

Mama of Dada inspired the Daughters of Dada, a Facebook group

Credited as the “Mama of Dada,” Beato’s controversial work as a surrealist is now often overlooked while that of her friend and lover Marcel Duchamp is well known. Both artists were in the infamous show in Paris in 1917, where “both she and Duchamp submitted works to the Society of Independent Artists’ first exhibition, which would double as Dada’s coming out. While Duchamp’s contribution to the show—a found urinal turned on its head and titled Fountain (1917)—would later be seen as a watershed moment in the history of modern art, it was Wood’s Un peut (peu) d’eau dans du savon (1917) that caused public uproar at the time.” Read more in this article. 

Left: Beatrice Wood, Is My Hat on Straight? (1969). Right: Beatrice Wood, Un peut d’eau dans du savon (ca. 1980). Images courtesy of Francis M. Naumann Fine Art.

Following her sojourns into art and acting in Paris, Beato moved to Ojai, where, at 40, she began her career as a ceramicist — which she started to simply make a teapot to match some plates she’d bought in Holland.  From there, her work grew more experimental and sophisticated and she developed lustrous glazes.

Throughout her life, Beato kept an illustrated journal, and her illustrations graced publications including this cookbook for Ojai’s Ranch House:

As of my last visit to the Ranch House in January, pages from the cookbook wallpaper the bathroom! 

“We can honor her memory by living life as she did; with great generosity, creativity, compassion and, above all else, honesty,” writes Donna. 

And speaking of challenges where you can live your life as BEATO did, how about joining us VIRTUALLY for the #targetdresschallenge? We will be gathering at Ventura, CA’s Art City and Avant Garden but you can join us from where ever you are in the world VIRTUALLY. Here’s how we celebrated last year at the Avant Garden, just before the pandemic shut the world down. 

Here’s a few examples of the #TargetDressChallenge from twitter–with a little song and dance near the end and a lengthy thread that will take you on a timely adventure:


Yes here we are on Day #365 of the lockdown and YOU are invited to join us VIRTUALLY in the #targetdresschallenge where we will be Dancing Queens celebrating the coming days of greater freedom! Maybe do something like this…

Here’s the link to learn more about the Pandemic Project Dance Challenge including calls for submissions, upcoming themes and guidelines.

The song we will be dancing to is the version below:

Here’s a reminder of the movie if you need one:

So get out and make some noise! Dance, sing, and play in the streets!

And tonight check this out:

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