Congressional Women In Watercolor

More women have been elected to the 113th Congress than any other in history, but it's still kind of a paltry number. Twenty percent is a long way from an equitable fifty percent. Nevertheless, it is a milestone for women in our national legislative body and we should celebrate the growing presence of women and minorities as our Congress starts to look like us. We should also examine why, in this day and age, we remain so far away from having equal numbers of men and women in government leadership.   The Women of the 113th Tumblr exists for that express purpose and I'm completely fascinated with it.

Artist Emily Nemens originally set out to capture the Women of the 112th Congress in watercolor. On the 112th Tumblr she explains her project, "I want to both honor the breadth and diversity of women in power, but also bring attention to certain disconcerting characteristics that emerge when taken as a whole: the rainbow of power suits, the big hair, the gaudy jewelry and toothy smiles – and the idea that they collectively are only 17% of Congress. The scale (small) and medium (a kind of neurotic, if not photorealistic, watercolor) play with the notions of beauty and power: these politicians are necessarily one part peacock, one part Fabergé. It reminds us that there is still a different set of expectations for women in power than the navy suits and red ties of their male counterparts."

Fortunately for Nemens, this congressional session has allowed for her to expand the project and paint several new faces.

Women of the Senate