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Brenda Oelbaum

United States

  • City, State: Ann Arbor, Michigan
  • Geographic Location: North America
  • Age: 53

About me:

Brenda Oelbaum holds a BFA equivalent from the Ontario College of Art in Toronto, Canada; she studied painting in Florence, Italy under the direction of the late Aba Bayefski and received her MA in Gallery Administration from the State University of New York, F.I.T campus. She has worked with such prominent art dealers as Rosa Esman, and Gracie Mansion in NYC. She is currently the Michigan representative for the Feminist Art Project, and the Vice President of the Midwest Region for the National Women’s Caucus for Art as well as the foundational President of the Michigan Chapter of the Women’s Caucus for Art. Although a classically trained painter Oelbaum currently works in mixed media, “I work in what ever medium best supports my message. I consider myself a Feminist Activist Artist.” She is currently working on a large scale installation which is both a physical and visual attack and commentary on the US government’s supposed “War on Obesity” and the multi-billion dollar diet industry. She wrote for her thesis on the artist May Wilson: 1905-1986 A Catalogue for the May Wilson Study Collection. Over the years, Oelbaum has amassed quite a collection of art. She feels a significant way to support women in the arts is to focus her collecting on them. Her work has appeared in the book "Art in the Age of Terrorism" Edited by Graham Coulter-Smith and Maurice Owen. She received mention in the June and July 2007 issue of Art in America for her work in the show "What F Word" Curated by Carol Cole at the Cynthia Broan Gallery in New York City. An essay entitled "The Venus of Willendorf Project", about her most recent work is in publication, release date yet to be determined.

Exhibit change by:

I don't know that I exhibit change, but I like to exhibit truth as I see it with humor and wit in order to make people think and talk, which does eventually lead to change

I'm passionate about:

Health at Every Size ( HAES ) Peace, Women's Rights, Women in the Arts


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From Women, Power and Politics:

Struggling to Understand
As a Jew, fear of Arabs was hard wired into me from an early age. After 9/11 when more Muslim women began to show their solidarity by deciding to wear hajib, I was very disturbed and fearful.  

From Exhibiting You:

No Shortage of Diet Books
I am obese. I believe very strongly that my attempts to control my size throughout my life has brought me to this shape. I have suffered every eating disorder known to man--and some that are only now being classified as such. Years of dieting and following external rules around my food intake has created such havoc in my life that it is taking me even more time to unravel the mess it has left in my brain and on my self esteem.  

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