CMA and the Women's Fund of Central Ohio prompt reflection and problem solving on a dismal reality.

CMA and the Women's Fund of Central Ohio prompt reflection and problem solving on a dismal reality.

Despite the popular notion that artists are more socially conscious and progressive, an inventory of galleries says otherwise.

"Historically, women have the same problems in the arts that they have in any other field," says Nannette Maciejunes, executive director at the Columbus Museum of Art.

Problems of previous barriers to art training and current perceptions of women's capability became apparent as CMA marked all works under its roof that were by women artists. The total came to 13 percent. Yet, the percentage is much higher than the amount of art by women in permanent collections worldwide-a dismal five percent-even though sixty percent of art school students are women.

The inventory was part of this year's April Equal Pay Day event-a culmination of the parallel low representation and unequal pay for women in the corporate and art world. The Women's Fund of Central Ohio partnered with CMA for the first time for the Fund's fourth Equal Pay Day.

A panel discussed nuances of the pay gap and proposed remedies. "You only see what you always see," says Women's Fund President & CEO Nichole Dunn. "And then that gets reinforced, so your brain is trained to think that by default I'm going to look to the man. By default, I've been trained to see this kind of art."

Ohio State University theater students created an installation for the day, where each side of a box listing a different woman artist in CMA's collection. To get into the museum to see the installation and participate in Equal Pay Day, men had to pay more.

For Maciejunes, concern for the issue is fading. "I think where we are now very conscientious about asking about diversity in ethnicity and religion and sexuality, we often have sort of dropped away asking the gender question," says Maciejunes.

The Fund and CMA plan to collaborate again.