Womanish, an experiential exhibit in Wynwood, uses colorful rooms to demonstrate the challenges women face daily.
“Womanish is where women are celebrated, but all are welcome,” says Dionna Gray, a Florida International University graduate who studied communications and created the exhibit with her sister Danyelle.
The sisters were born and raised in Chicago. Their work examines female stereotypes in podcasts, workshops, and other events.
More than just an Instagram-friendly exhibition, Womanish gives activism an artistic spin.
Vibrant colors, mood lighting and empowering quotes blend to honor women while providing social commentary about serious issues such as the wage gap, mental health and the fact that commercial products aimed at women often cost more than similar products for men.
Upon entering the exhibit located on Northeast 28th Street near Northwest Third Avenue in Wynwood, guests find themselves in a 1950s diner adorned with checkered floors, a retro-looking countertop and plastic milkshakes. Diners were one of the first places where women were allowed to work in the United States.
“We thought it’d be most fitting to start the exhibit this way,” Dionna Gray said.
“Censoredish”, the second room of the exhibit, displays nude paintings and phallic fruits in containers surrounded by neon lights. The sign next to the room reads: “Censorship is a form of control that works to suppress our chosen identities and societal normalities, such as our divine bodies and their natural functions.”
Although it was originally set to open in March 2020, in Chicago, the Gray sisters had to postpone the event until late September because of COVID-19.
But, because of the pandemic, organizers had five more months to plan which resulted in two new sections of the exhibit: hair salon “Cultureish” and party room “Magic.”
Dionna’s connections in Miami led them to Wynwood, which she said was one of the only places where businesses could sustain themselves after the pandemic.
“Making a place where you can just come in and feel comfortable being who you are and doing what you want to do, is something really important to me and Danyelle.”
The exhibit also has an online store and exclusive jackets sold only at the exhibit.
Tickets are available on the Womanish website. The exhibit closes on December 31.
Womanish is located at 317 NW 28th St. It is open from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday. Reservations are $18.85 for children 4 through 12 and $35.85 for those over 12. “Flex” tickets that allow free rescheduling are $46.50.