‘Phenomenal’ new Calgary exhibit showcases women’s struggles during COVID-19 pandemic

There’s a new Calgary effort to end some of the lingering inequalities that have been highlighted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Artist Veronica Funk has put together an exhibit called Woman’s Work, featuring portraits of 50 women who work in a wide variety of fields.

Funk began connecting with them shortly after COVID hit in March 2020.

The project also includes those women’s stories of how their lives changed during the pandemic.

“I was really disappointed to hear how many women were disproportionately affected by job loss during the pandemic,” Funk said. “Everything was falling on women, again.”

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One of the women whose portrait is featured in the exhibit is Jean Parker, a single mom who’s now developing her artistic talents after spending decades as a business executive.

“It’s phenomenal,” Parker told Funk, “You’ve honoured the women and their work, and their journeys.”

The Woman’s Work exhibit runs through until the end of June at Sparrow Artspace in Calgary’s Bridgeland neighbourhood.

Funk is hoping her work can help efforts to correct imbalances facing women.

“Women’s salaries in Canada statistically are still smaller than men’s, for the same work,” Funk said. ”The pandemic highlighted that inequality and hopefully will be a proponent of change.”

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