The Feminist Gaze

Naakita Feldman-Kiss Naakita Feldman-Kiss

Consider yourself a feminist? Do you enjoy art? If you said yes to either or both of these questions, then I have just the exhibit for you. Concordia-based feminist art and art history magazine Yiara’s has an exhibit of works from their upcoming issue.

Camille Cléant

Camille Cléant

Now in it’s second year, Yiara magazine was started by a group of art history students from Concordia University. Raissa Paes, the magazine’s founder, is now a Concordia alumna in the process of completing her Masters degree at New York University. As an undergraduate student studying art history, Paes couldn’t help but notice that the art being taught in classes was primarily by male artists, yet the majority of students in the classes were female.

When asked what inspired her to start the magazine, Paes felt it was her duty as a budding art historian not just to tell the unspoken stories and uncovered truths that had been omitted from the history of art, but also “to contribute to the discipline and the world.” She also feels this is a great way to get people exposed to feminism. She recognizes that there is a need for the students of Concordia as well as the people of Montreal to have a publication that is open to discussion about women in art and in the world in general.

"Barbie Heads" (from the series Barbies) by Jonah Migicovsky

“Barbie Heads” (from the series Barbies) by Jonah Migicovsky

Paes’ hopes to see the magazine expand and become open to new events to reach a broader audience have come true. This year, the women of Yiara have created an exhibit to showcase the works included in this year’s issue. Yiara’s events coordinator Cassandra Marsillo says that this year’s team also saw the need for expansion for the magazine, as well as to give more exposure to the artists featured in the issue. The team also believes this will help get feminist discussion going in Montreal, something they hope to see happen after the vernissage.

Megan Moore. Cosmopolitain 2007-2012

Megan Moore. Cosmopolitan 2007-2012.

Some of the artworks that visitors can expect to see cover many different mediums, such as painting, video art, photography and sculpture. The pieces deal with feminism through issues of culture, identity and body. Marsillo says all this will be viewed “in a relaxed environment,” which will hopefully make for “an informative, creative and positive night.” Artists on display include Naakita Feldman-Kiss, Julie Villeneuve, Laila Mestari, Sophie Morro, Fannie Gadoua, Alysia Piatkowski, Camille Cléant, Jonah Migicovsky, Sofia Bach, Emily Karcz, Megan Moore, Gabrielle Brais Harvey, and a spoken word performance by Liana Cusmano. DJ Milk Roby provides music.

Intaglio by Gabrielle Brais Harvey

La Colonie (sorcières) by Gabrielle Brais Harvey



The Yiara Vernissage takes place at Café L’Artere (7000 Ave Du Parc) February 5th from 6-10 pm. The exhibit runs until February 24th. A launch party for the second issue will take place in March.