American Women Artists (AWA) is about to host its 17th annual Exhibition at the Addison Art Gallery in Orleans, Massachusetts.
“With its museum-quality work,” says gallery owner Helen Addison, “the AWA show highlights our country’s diverse, flourishing talents, who celebrate the world around us with such skill and awareness.”
Former TMA director Robert Yassin recalls now that the exhibitions’ purpose was not to redefine history, but rather to provide a venue for contemporary women artists addressing Western themes. Since then, however, AWA has expanded beyond the Western genre to embrace artists from all regions of the U.S., as well as Canada.
Wherever they may reside, many AWA members clearly value their participation in the group. As a longtime high school art teacher, the Oklahoma sculptor Burneta Venosdel spent years studying Western art, but when she began working professionally after retiring from the classroom, she realized that the field was flooded with male perspectives.
American Women Artists With its museum-quality work
“When all you see is 99 percent male-oriented, you just don’t imagine that there is so much amazing work
created by women artists,” Venosdel says. “Winning my class at my first AWA show last year was overwhelming. The competition was tough, but very supportive. Just knowing that I could make it to this level was a dream come true.”
Landscapist Denise LaRue Mahlke is AWA’s newest Master Signature member and will exhibit her painting Haven.
“There is something about artists pursuing excellence together — growing, helping, and supporting one another,” she says. “This is a solitary job sometimes, so being part of something bigger is good for all of us.” New Signature
member Elaine Hahn says that the American Women Artists community motivates and inspires her to explore new challenges. Keeping up with the work of other artists — watching them grow — is enjoyable. But you are also learning something, and getting to know them through their work.”
AWA executive director Diane Swanson notes that August 16 is the date not only of the exhibition’s opening eception, but also of the painting demonstrations to be offered by Master Signature members Ann Larsen and Bethanne Kinsella Cople.
For those collectors who have not yet seen Cape Cod, AWA’s show will provide a perfect opportunity to enjoy great art and nature together. For those who have seen an American Women Artists show or the Cape before. You already know what pleasures await you.