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 of 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.