Joyce Aiken

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Joyce Braun Aiken
Joyce Braun


Joyce Aiken (born 1931) is an American feminist art historian, artist, and educator. Aiken taught the subject for over 20 years at California State University, Fresno, and assisted her students in opening a feminist art gallery. This helped put Fresno, California on the map as a key place for the feminist art movement. Most recently, she served as the director of the Fresno Arts Council.

Life and work[edit]

Joyce Aiken earned both her bachelors and master's of art from California State University, Fresno.[1] Aiken started teaching feminist art in 1973 at California State University, Fresno, taking over for fellow artist Judy Chicago, who had started the class in 1970.[1][2] She would teach the class until her retirement in 1992.[1][2] In 1974, her students founded an alternative art gallery for women in Fresno, California called Gallery 25.[1] The gallery, along with Aiken's class, helped put Fresno on the map as a center for the feminist art movement,[1] and continues to be one of the longest running co-op galleries in the United States.[3] Aiken would be elected as president to the Coalition of Women's Art in 1978, and moved to Washington, D.C. for a year during her tenure. The organization actively lobbied for the rights of women artists. Her work with the Coalition led to her being picked as one of the "80 Women to Watch in the 80's" by Ms. magazine.[1]

In 1986, she curated a year -long exhibition, at the Fresno Metropolitan Museum of Art and Science, that honored women artists of California, active between 1945 and 1965. The exhibit was the first of its kind in the United States. She would serve as co-chair, in 2004, of the Council of 100, an organization within the Fresno Art Museum that honored a woman artist every year with an exhibition.[1] That year, she would also become the director of the Fresno Arts Council,[1] before retiring in 2010.[4]

Collections and exhibitions[edit]

  • Mosaic benches, with Jean Ray Laury; Fulton Mall, Fresno, California.[5]


A few of exhibitions are:

  • 2010 - Group exhibition: "39NOW"; Pacific Design Center, Los Angeles, California.[6]
  • 2012 - Two Person exhibition: "Seeing Through It and Seeing It Through"; Oakopolis Gallery, Oakland, California.[7]

Published works[edit]

The following are books that Joyce Aiken co-wrote with Jean Ray Laury:

  • Creating Body Coverings. New York: Van Nostrand Reinhold (1974). ISBN 0-442-24698-6
  • Handmade Rugs for Practically Anything. Clearwater: Countryside Press (1971). ISBN 0-385-07681-9
  • The Total Tote Bag Book. New York: Taplinger Publishing Company (1977). ISBN 0-8008-7793-4


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h Barbara J. Love (2006). Feminists who changed America, 1963-1975. University of Illinois Press. p. 6. ISBN 978-0-252-03189-2. Retrieved 7 January 2012.
  2. ^ a b "A Studio of Their Own: The Legacy of the Fresno Feminist Art Experiment". Legacy/History. California State University, Fresno. Retrieved 8 January 2011.
  3. ^ "History of Gallery 25". About us. Gallery 25. Archived from the original on 23 November 2010. Retrieved 8 January 2011.
  4. ^ Victor Ramayrat (2010). "Joyce Aiken Retirement Party". Vimeo. Retrieved 9 January 2011.
  5. ^ "Public Art on the Fulton Mall". Fulton Mall Public Art Tour. Downtown Fresno. 2012. Archived from the original on 16 January 2011. Retrieved 7 January 2011.
  6. ^ "39NOW". 39NOW. Sophia Louisa Projects. 2010. Archived from the original on 26 January 2011. Retrieved 8 January 2011.
  7. ^ "Seeing Through It and Seeing It Through". Mixed Media Artworks. Jan Camp. 2012. Retrieved 19 April 2012.

External links[edit]