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Plates Against Patriarchy is a female-organized pottery project that invites women from around the country to speak about their experience living in a patriarchal society. We combine handmade plates with the glazed portraits and narratives of everyday women, collected through social media. The ceramic plates are made by hand, created through a collaborative process by artists Helen Atkins, Jordyn Bernicke, and Monique Rivera. Each plate gives voice to a woman, pairing her likeness with her written story. The plates and stories were featured at the Harwood Art Center's "Bridge: Art and Social Justice Exhibition" in September 2019.

As a collective of female identifying artists and ceramicist, we are inspired by the strength and fluidity of clay and see it as a metaphor for the resilience of women. While porcelain plates are often seen as delicate and fragile, they are actually fortified and strong. As a icon of domesticity, they provide the perfect surfaces for us to challenge patriarchal standards and share the images and stories of women. Our work juxtaposes stereotypes of feminine identity with the reality of lived experiences.

Our collaborative process creates strong artworks that speak to the importance of mutual female support. Monique Rivera starts the process by

hand-throwing each ceramic plate. Helen Atkins then glazes the portraits of each woman. Jordyn Bernicke finishes the plates by adding floral embellishments and calligraphy. Through each step we work together and encourage one another, pushing our abilities and testing new techniques. This collaborative practice gives us the confidence to experiment and challenge ourselves, resulting in pieces that are rich in process and spirit.

The support we offer each other artistically — and the beautiful artworks that result — are a testament to the strength of female relationships.



Plates Against Patriarchy was the featured project at Harwood Art Center’s annual celebration & exhibition of art and social justice. Our project spanned two galleries, one of which we dedicated to a community-generated installation honoring Nurse Practitioner Dolores Cordova who was nominated as a matriarch of her community. Prior to the exhibition, we hosted a glazing workshop during which participants were welcome to help glaze shattered plates for this installation.  The result was a large installation made by over 40 people.    


ARTIST TEAM: Helen Atkins, Jordyn Bernicke & Monique Rivera 

STORIES BY:  Natalie Wendel, Amaris Feland Ketcham, Jacqueline Smith, Sierra Padilla, Alejandra Madrid, Kelsey Rust, Susan Roden, Jackie Freedman, Christina Del Rosario, Staci Drangmeister, Briana Inman, Bailey Inman, Kendra Crooks, Angeleen DeVera, Savannah Wilcox, Michelle Parry, Kirsten Sochinski, Sierra Martinez, Jessica Lovato, Ana Reyes, Khaki Carr, Andrea Marquez, Melissa Lux, Rachel Shiver, Rhianna Deschinny, Erica Garcia, Jacklyn Le, Leila Murrieta, Nora Chavez, Christine Glidden, Angela Paz, Ranny Levy, Leslie Donovan, Dolores Cordova, Marietta Benevento


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