At CCBC, we’ve partnered with the National Museum of Women in the Arts to participate in their #5WomenArtists campaign focused on ensuring female-identified artists are recognized internationally. Talented CCBC Member Brittani Buettner contributed with the closing blog post in our series to celebrate Women’s Month and the #5WomenArtists campaign.
Canadian jeweller, Brittani Buettner, is a mountain loving girl who currently resides at Big White Ski Resort. Her work is influenced by her observations and drawings of particular mountain ranges and nature. Brittani often captures these profiles and silhouettes in sterling silver or gold using traditional goldsmith techniques.
I just want to thank the Craft Council for the opportunity to share my experiences as a female artist. As I reflect over the last five years I’m amazed at where my pursuits have taken me! I realized I have subconsciously sought out chances to learn and work alongside women artists. My former instructors at Kootenay Studio Arts are women, I moved to Whistler and joined the female artist Co-op Mountain Object Makers, and since moving I’ve made an effort to get to know artists from the Kelowna Farmer’s Market community. Building these relationships has been so important to me! They remind me that I’m not alone even though I do work from home by myself. We need these connections as a jeweller when working from a shared space isn’t an option.
Since moving up to Big White Ski Resort I have missed the community I had in Whistler. Working alone and rurally changes you… It makes you look forward to getting off the mountain so you can talk to customers at the farmers market. This isn’t such a bad thing, but I feel like my social skills suffer. Haha! Thankfully that is where social media shines. The women I have connected with on Instagram are some of the most supportive, honest and talented people I know. #communityovercompetition is a hashtag I love to use. It is so relevant to this month’s efforts from the National Museum of Women in the Arts.
Although I’m met with acceptance and understanding on the internet, I still find myself justifying how I make a living as an artist to people I meet in person. There is still a stigma on married women who don’t hold a traditional full-time job. I had an unfortunate encounter with a fellow farmer’s market vendor who couldn’t seem to understand how I made enough money to pursue my passion full-time. He actually asked if my husband was Dr. “McDreamy” insinuating that he must be supporting me financially so I can sell at the farmer’s market for fun… Yeah, you read that correctly. I found myself stumbling to explain the truth and blurted out that I actually make more than my husband during the busy months. Of course the guy had more to say, but I don’t want to focus on this. We as women have to realize this is still going on and work towards educating the population and standing firm in our truth!
So with that in mind, I have made a point to pursue my artist career unapologetically. This is a daily task which involves affirmations, changing my mindset and a little dash of not giving a f**k. We live in such an exciting time; I look forward to when I’m older and able to reflect back on what women artists have accomplished.