Women Artists Salute Women’s Suffrage

Since Tuesday, November 2 is Election Day in the United States, we want to honor all of the women who fought so hard to obtain the vote in the U.S. and elsewhere. Their struggle took decades of courage and perseverance, so please be sure to take the time to vote today!

We found two examples of women artists celebrating women’s suffrage that we want to share with you – one initiated by the Victoria Women’s Trust in Australia, and the other by Jan Lisa Huttner, the co-creator of SWAN Day and the author of our Hot Pink Pen film reviews.


(YouTube Video at: www.youtube.com/watch?v=6HpCmdLRuF8)

Tracy Bartram with Women's Chorus

Australian Singer & Comedian Tracy Bartram

In the Premiere of Love and Justice


It took 19 attempts in Parliament for women in Victoria, Australia to get the right to vote in state elections. They finally succeeded in 1908, 12 years before the 19th amendment passed granting women in the U.S. the right to vote.

In 2008, the Victoria Women’s Trust commissioned Melbourne based songwriter and musician, Kavisha Mazzella, to compose Love and Justice, a women’s anthem to celebrate the hundredth anniversary of Victorian women’s right to vote.

Mazzella conducted the premiere of Love and Justice on November 29, 2008 at the BMW Edge Theatre in Melbourne with a chorus of over 450 women who had been recruited through ads in the local newspapers and media. You can watch the premiere performance on YouTube at: www.youtube.com/watch?v=6HpCmdLRuF8.

It is truly thrilling to see 450 women enthusiastically singing Mazzella’s lines:

Love and Justice be my flag

I’ll live my truth what e’re will be

I swear that I cannot rest till there’s equality

Love and justice be my flag

I ‘ll live my truth what ever comes

so many rivers to cross till our journeys done.

Mazzella and the Victoria Women’s Trust are interested in sharing this piece with the women of the world. If you are interested in performing it, you can download the sheet music for free and order a rehearsal CD for your chorus for $10 at: vwt.org.au/initiatives-28.html You can also read the lyrics on Kavisha Mazzella’s website at: www.kavisha.com/lyrics/31-womens-anthem-qlove-and-justiceq.html

Please let the Victoria Women’s Trust know if you decide to perform the piece so that they can add you to their growing list of international performances at: vwt.org.au/initiatives-28-100.html

Also, WomenArts is looking for songs that could be used as women’s anthems during our Support Women Artists Now Day celebrations in March 2011. If you have ideas, please contact WomenArts>>


Caroline Watts' New Bugler Girl

Caroline Watts’

New Bugler Girl

U.S. Version (1910)

While women were winning the vote in Australia, Caroline Watts was working at the other end of the globe as a member of the Artists Suffrage League, a group of professional women artists in England who supported women’s suffrage by donating designs of posters, post cards, and other ephemera.

Watts created an image of The Bugler Girl, described as an “Amazon who stands on the battlements of the fort heralding the new day.” Her image was first used to publicize a suffrage march that took place on June 13, 1908. (See www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/Wartists.htm) Later the image travelled to the U.S. when Harriot Stanton Blatch, the daughter of Elizabeth Cady Stanton, adopted it as the emblem of the Women’s Political Union in 1910.

Melissa Wilks' New Bugler Girl

Melissa A. Wilks’

New Bugler Girl

The movement for women’s suffrage in the U.S. started with the first national women’s rights convention in Seneca Falls in 1848. Women finally gained the right to vote 72 years later with the passage of the 19th Amendment to the Constitution in August 1920. In 1971 the U.S. Congress designated August 26 as “Women’s Equality Day” to commemorate the passage of the 19th Amendment and women’s continuing efforts toward full equality.

In 2010 Jan Lisa Huttner, the co-creator of SWAN Day, asked WomenArts’ graphic designer, Melissa A. Wilks, to create a new version of the Bugler Girl that could be used for Women’s Equality Day celebrations. Wilks’ design is now available on buttons, magnets and t-shirts in the WomenArts Store on Cafe Press at: www.cafepress.com/womenarts/7228802



WomenArts is a community of artists and allies dedicated to celebrating and supporting art by and about women. For an overview of our programs and services, please see the About Us section of this web site.