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About us

AWA2016 Three Night Blooming Harrisia oil by Dyana Hesson

American Women Artists is dedicated to the inspiration, celebration, and encouragement of women in the visual fine Arts.

AWA 25 in 25

Who We Are and What We Do

Since its inception, American Women Artists has worked diligently to bring women artists to the attention of the art world through museum shows, juried competitions in leading galleries around the country, symposiums, workshops and an international exchange. Our goal is to increase the number of professional opportunities for women in the visual fine arts by creating the kinds of opportunities that lead to greater inclusion.

American Women Artists serves members throughout the United States along with a growing contingent of artists from Canada. AWA is an independent, tax-exempt nonprofit organization that celebrated its inaugural exhibit in 1990 at the Tucson Museum of Art and incorporated as a 501c3 in the state of New Mexico in 1998.

AWA2016 Red String oil by Allison Kroll

A Brief History

AWA's inaugural exhibit was in 1990 at the Tucson Museum of Art, and continues through today with annual shows held in prestigious galleries and museums throughout the United States and abroad. The annual exhibition schedule is punctuated with keynote events like the Women's Festival of the Arts held for two consecutive years in Santa Fe, the cultural-exchange exhibition in Italy in the year 2000, and workshops taught by Master and Signature members at such prestigious art schools as the Scottsdale Artists School.

AWA's first juried competition was held in 1997-1998, awards of sponsored workshops, art materials and supplies and cash were presented to 15 artists in encouragement of their art careers. The tradition of holding an annual National Juried Competition, with the finalists exhibiting alongside Master and Signature members in AWA's Annual Member show, is now a long-standing one, speaking to AWA's dedicated mission to create professional opportunities to women artists in museums and galleries across the country.

Board of Directors

AWA is governed by an all-volunteer executive board consisting of a President, Vice President, Secretary/Treasurer and board members. The group convenes in person at least once a year, while conducting additional meetings via Skype. The 2016-2017 board members hail from New York to California and include:

  • Kathrine Lemke Waste, Sacramento, California, President
  • Laurie Stevens, Cascade, Montana, Vice President
  • Paula Holtzclaw, Waxhaw, North Carolina, Secretary
  • Diane Mason, Berthoud, Colorado, Treasurer
  • Earline Burke,Cartersville, Georgia
  • Aleta Carpenter, Redding, California
  • Leah Lopez, New York, New York
  • Diana Reuter-Twining, Aldie, Virginia
  • Carol Fensholt Nierenberg, Carefree, Arizona

AWA Staff
Robin Knowlton - Executive Director  
Corinne Litchfield- Social Media & Website Consultant
Rachel McCumber- Business & Membership Services Consultant 
Tony Monserrate - Website Consultant

Exhibition History

2017 Tucson, AZ – Tucson Desert Art Museum
2016 Bennington, VT – Bennington Center for the Arts
2015 Scottsdale, AZ – Bonner David Galleries
2014 Orleans, MA – Addison Art Gallery, Cartersville, GA – Booth Western Art Museum
2013 Fredericksburg, TX – RS Hanna Gallery
2012 Tubac, AZ – K. Newby Gallery, Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum
2011 Atlanta, GA – Huff Harrington Fine Arts
2010 Dallas, TX – Southwest Art Gallery
2009 Easton, MD – South Street Art Gallery
2008 Pasadena, CA – Galerie Gabrie
2007 Scottsdale, AZ – LeKAE Gallery
2005 Dallas, TX – Texas Art Gallery
2004 Santa Fe, NM – McLarry Fine Art, Meyer Gallery
2003 Santa Fe, NM – McLarry Fine Art
2001 Santa Fe, NM – Festival of Women in the Arts
2000 Sorrento, Italy – The Cloisters
1999 Taos, NM – Total Arts Gallery
1997-1998 Scottsdale, AZ – Trailside Gallery
1996 Jackson, WY – National Museum of Wildlife Art, Bennington, VT – Bennington Center for the Arts
1990-1994 Tucson, AZ – Tucson Museum of Art

AWA2016 Artists Leah Lopez  Adriana Zubikarai Allison Kroll

AWA 2016 show at the Bennington Center for the Arts with artists Leah Lopez, Adriana Zubikarai and Allison Kroll


Established in 1990, in Santa Fe, New Mexico, American Women Artists was incorporated as a 501(c)(3) educational nonprofit organization in 1998 by founding members and distinguished artists Star York, Joan Potter and Sherrie McGraw. AWA guest artists over the years have included a number of luminaries in the art world... like Judy Chicago, whose groundbreaking installation, The Dinner Party, is on permanent exhibition at the Brooklyn Museum and Henriette Wyeth, an important 20th century painter from a distinguished American family of artists.