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Montserrat College of Art’s Gallery director and curator Leonie Bradbury at the Montserrat Gallery in Beverly, where "Not Ready to Make Nice, Guerrilla Girls in the Artworld and Beyond" is on display.
Montserrat College of Art’s Gallery director and curator Leonie Bradbury at the Montserrat Gallery in Beverly, where "Not Ready to Make Nice, Guerrilla Girls in the Artworld and Beyond" is on display.Wendy Maeda/Globe staff

Wellesley College senior Michaela Haffner has been interested in the Guerrilla Girls ever since she was in high school back in Texas and came across the feminist group’s witty billboard depicting the Anatomically Correct Oscar, which redesigns the iconic statue to reflect the award’s predominately white, male winners.

The Guerilla Girls’ Oscar is definitely G-rated, but, Haffner says, “Let’s just say it’s not a very good-looking statue.”

As president of the Davis Museum Student Advisory Committee at Wellesley, Haffner and her group are bringing the “feminist masked avengers,” as the Guerrilla Girls describe themselves, to campus Thursday and Friday.

Founded 28 years ago, the Guerrilla Girls wear gorilla masks and take on the names of dead female artists to protect their identities, while using “facts, humor and fake fur” to expose and fight discrimination in the art world and beyond.

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“Frida Kahlo,’’ who took her name from the Mexican painter known for vivid self-portraits who became popular after her death in 1954, said she is looking forward to spending time at the college. And as always, she will wear her gorilla mask.

“It’s very hard to be an outspoken feminist and not suffer in the art world, especially back in 1985,” she said.

Kahlo, one of the founding Guerrillas, said it began after a group of women became outraged at the lack of works by female artists and artists of color in top galleries and museums.

Their first protest was of an exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. Of the 169 featured artists, 13 were women, and all were white, Kahlo said.

It was their often funny and thought-provoking posters that caught the attention of the students at Wellesley. Haffner’s group decided to invite the Guerrilla Girls to campus because of the important role they played in “debunking the traditional white, male perspective of art history,” Haffner wrote in an e-mail to the Globe.

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Kahlo will speak Thursday at 5:30 p.m. in Wellesley’s Jewett Auditorium. She will be followed by a discussion on activism and the arts led by artist and critic Lorraine O’Grady, a 1955 Wellesley graduate.

Kahlo will also talk at the Davis Museum and Cultural Center at 1:30 p.m. Friday, discussing some of the Guerrilla Girls’ prints at the museum.


Ellen Ishkanian can be reached at eishkanian@gmail.com.