The Beginning of Pies in the Window

If you like stories, here is how the idea of me making the first vulva pies for Pies in the Window began:

One very early, cold morning in December 2020, I was writing my morning pages at the kitchen table and the idea struck me to make this art. Struck, as in, hit hard, as if by lightning. I didn’t know where it was going, but I decided it felt very important, divinely inspired even, and I had to go with it. I don’t think I have ever in my life been so scared by an art idea.

The idea was to take all the double entendres and symbolism of food/ baking and tie it together with figure art and feminist issues.

I attempted to share the fledgling idea with my husband, as I am often quick to share. Yet, I was so excited and my idea was so new that it just sounded like a crazy jumble of me trying to convince him that feminist art involving body parts and pies was an amazing idea. He told me he didn’t understand, but he could tell I needed to do it and he would support me in whatever “it” ended up being. I am very thankful that was his reaction.

Even great ideas can be scary

The idea was so scary because I had been avoiding the controversial art of my college days since becoming a public school art teacher. I had put all of my nudes, aggression, and controversy in a neat little flat file and pretended that it didn’t exist.

Even when I stopped teaching for a while, I began learning to bake from scratch and opened a home bakery. I threw myself into becoming the quintessential homemaker, not a vulva pie in sight. (Looking back, I think the bakery was me trying to express myself creatively while stifling myself to create acceptably.)

While we were all home for our long “stay home” hibernation, like many others, I turned to creativity to get me through. I sketched, I baked, I allowed myself to doodle and create without pressure. I knew dessert was an artistic medium to me now, like paint or clay, but I wasn’t using it to make anything I would consider “real art.”

Then, it all came together! I knew better than to push it away because I had been waiting so long to feel inspired to create. The film that had gathered over my creativity lens was more like a cataract, and suddenly I could see.

So, I answered the call and here I am, making vulva pies to celebrate vulva diversity, removing shame and stigma from our bodies and feeling like all is right with the world.

Baking pan full of unbaked pies with diverse vulva pie crust designs

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