March 1, 2022

March is Womxn's History Month! MCA Denver Staff Shares Their Influential Artists & Creators

Tai Bickham


March is Womxn’s History Month! It is a time to honor and recognize the contributions and achievements made by those that identify as womxn in this country. In recognition of Womxn’s History Month, we asked our staff to share artists/creators who have impacted their lives as those that have made an influence on arts and culture in contemporary society.

Lacey Manuel - Shop Manager & Buyer 

Sondra Perry - Artist 

photo of the artist, Sondra Perry


Sondra Perry is my latest art obsession. She uses every digital tool, from blue screen technology and 3D avatars to found footage from the internet, to express the abstraction of Black identity in America. Perry shows how art is accessible to both the viewer and the creator. Through digital media, we can experience art in a gallery and in our beds at home. We can create art through advanced digital platforms and through simple tools like Snapchat. Sondra Perry specifically explores technologies of representation in relation to blackness and how the moving image can be a tool for experiencing both the past and present. I can't think of any other medium that allows for this type of storytelling!! 

Eclogue4 for [in] HABITABILITY
image: Sondra Perry, Eclogue for [in]Habitability, Seattle Art Museum, 2017. 3 Channel video projection, backhoe, three channel synced monitor video, sound.

Eclogue for [in]HABITABILITY

"The second in a series of installations presented as visual eclogues—or short pastoral poems—about real and virtual landscapes, reflecting Perry’s investigation of race, class, abstraction, and representation through video and computer-based media installations and performances."

This is one of her newest and largest works and I love how it invites the viewer to fully immerse themselves in the space. It combines footage from the artist’s own archive, drones, and the internet to highlight the relationship between people and place. I especially like this work for the comment she makes on the racialization of spaces (both physical and digital). It's implied and applied meaning -- which is just....chefs kiss.

Dylan Woods - Cafe & Bar Manager

SOPHIE - Musician  

photo of the musician, SOPHIE


For Womxn’s History Month, I am thinking of SOPHIE (1986 - 2021). She was such a pioneer in music and essentially created a new genre in music, known as hyper-pop. Her songs have exaggerated elements of pop music with high-pitched voices and glittering synths co-existing with industrial sounds like the stretching of latex, deep and distorted robotic vocals, metal clanging upon metal. Each song is like a sculpture in that they are so textured and layered that the sounds she has created sound physical–it’s sonic serotonin.  


My favorite work of hers is one of her more tamer songs; Just Like We Never Said Goodbye will always have a special place in my heart (closely contested by Faceshopping) since her passing last year. While she didn’t put out a lot of work during the little time she spent on Earth, she sent waves through the music community and has become an icon and a beacon of strength for the queer community. 

Rachel Grammes - Marketing & Content Coordinator 

Jillian Kay FitzMaurice - Artist 

photo of Jillian FitzMaurice by Kristin Haitgi Sink
image: portrait of artist, Jillian Kay FitzMaurice, by Kristen Hatgi Sink

Jillian Kay FitzMaurice is a Denver-based contemporary artist that I am smitten with. Drawing and painting are her primary mediums, but she also works in performance, video, and installation.

I discovered Jillian's work when she was a subject in Kristen Hatgi Sink's exhibition, Honey, at MCA Denver in 2018. Performance artists always intrigue me because of the way they articulate their relationship to the body and to physical space. From there, I quickly fell in love with Jillian's whimsical paintings depicting horses, rainbows, and stars. These imaginative landscapes—featuring captivating colors—have a youthful quality to them, and the horses almost look like they are floating in a magical void. 

We're best friends now by Jillian Kay FitzMaurice
image: Jillian Kay FitzMaurice, We're Best Friends Now, 2020. acrylic, oil pastel, gold leaf on panel, 10 x 10 inches. 

I own the work titled We're Best Friends Now. The scene is simple but I am constantly brought back to it throughout my days at home and feel held by it. Jillian's horses are playful but there's also something sad about them. There's a juxtaposition in the image: the jagged, somewhat ominous shadow of the horse paired with the sweetness of the two horses that "are best friends now" feels human.