The Latest from American Women Artists

Carrie Waller Abundance

July 2103 “I was just so intrigued by it and I started painting copies of the photos. Pretty soon I was visiting pueblos, buying pottery and taking my own photos to copy,” says Falk. “It has been an education – to think about the endurance of Native American culture in the Southwest – I felt it was worthy of sharing with others.”


Prize Packages Exceed $20,000 as Entry Deadline for Juried Competition Approaches


Cash and merchandise award packages for the upcoming Juried Competition and Member Show now exceed $20,000.  Generous sponsors and long-time supporters have contributed to making this year’s prize pot one of the biggest ever.

Signature and Master Signature members will also be receiving awards this year.  Look for more details on prize packages in next month’s newsletter.  Members and competition finalists will be getting hotel information and a schedule of events soon.

Associates who still plan to enter our juried competition should hurry. The final deadline is July 11.  Find the prospectus on our

AWA Welcomes Three New Signature Members


Congratulations are in order for Cecy Turner, Becky Joy and Jane Bartonwho have joined the ranks of Signature members of American Women Artists.  Turner, whose watercolor, “Times Past and Present,” is pictured at left, is a native of Dallas, Texas.  Joy and Barton are Arizona residents.

Turner, Joy and Barton have been juried into the AWA Fall Competition three times, qualifying them for Signature consideration.  

Associate Member DeBob Jacob Joins Board


 Associate Artist Members now have a representative on the AWA Board of Directors.  DeBob Jacob, of Maypearl, Texas, joined the Board in June.  Jacob is an active member of this year’s Show Committee and is working to make the AWA Fall weekend at the Hanna Gallery packed with artful opportunities and Texas traditions.

Jacob has been working and teaching painting and sculpture for over 25 years, participating in many shows throughout the southwestern United States.  She is, in her own words, “proud to be a painter,” adding, “I paint in celebration of, and in gratitude for, the many wonders I have seen.”

Do you use Gmail?  If so…

…you might think you’ve misplaced your email from AWA.  Gmail is gradually rolling out a new organizational system for its email inbox, and some users have already discovered big changes.  Email will be divided into three folders: Primary, Social and Promotions.  Your mail will be automatically “sorted” for you into these folders.  

AWA uses Constant Contact for newsletters and mass mailings so gmail users may find their email from AWA in the Promotions folder.  It’s easy to change the sorting system – just re-assign us to your Primary folder, where our updates and newsletters will be easier to find.  Why do we use Constant Contact instead of just emailing you directly?  Most email hosts like Gmail or Yahoo don’t allow mass mailings from one address (SPAM!).   

  AWA Master Signature Member Joni Falk: A Legacy of Learning
By Nicole Cardoza
copyright 2013 American Women Artists


Joni Falk, a wife, mother and business owner, living with her family in Arizona had no idea how her life would change the day she picked up a copy of Arizona Highways and read an article that included photos of Native American pottery.
     “I was just so intrigued by it and I started painting copies of the photos. Pretty soon I was visiting pueblos, buying pottery and taking my own photos to copy,” says Falk. “It has been an education – to think about the endurance of Native American culture in the Southwest – I felt it was worthy of sharing with others.”
Joni can still recall her first experience with art as a child growing up in the Midwest.  “I must have been about seven years old when my Aunt took me to the Art Institute of Chicago, there was a Degas exhibit. They gave all the children charcoal and paper, and told us to copy what we saw. I can still remember how elated I was by that.”   

Art Career Begins in her 40’s

That experience cemented Joni’s lifelong love of art but her career as an artist began when she was in her forties.  A customer who frequented the hobby shop she ran with her husband taught her to tole paint. When Joni and her husband opened an art supply store a few years later, she hired an instructor to teach classes at the store. One day when the instructor unexpectedly quit, Joni was convinced to take over the class.

               “I started teaching before I really felt I had the capabilities to teach, but I feel I learned a great deal from teaching,” says Falk. “When I look back teaching is what helped me grow, more than anything else I could have done.”

               When Joni moved on from tole painting to painting landscapes, she began taking more classes and workshops locally. She started to produce small miniatures and was selling them mostly in mall shows along with other artists.”You learn so much about mixing colors in tole painting and the brush strokes you apply in tole painting are so similar to the looser version you use in painting flowers,” says Falk.  “It was a good transition for me to painting on canvas.”  

224 Pottery and Purple Pansies, Oil, Joni Falk

“Because of what AWA did in the early years, more shows are open to women”

Joni made the jump from mall shows to showing in galleries when a friend showed her work to a local gallery owner.  “I think I just filled a niche for that gallery – it was the right time for me,” says Falk. “Western Art has been popular among collectors for a long time. It is our history – it will always be popular.”

Joni, a member of American Women Artist (AWA) since 1990, is grateful for the opportunities that AWA gave her to exhibit her work in a traditionally male dominated genre.

“AWA was incredibly influential, each show adds credibility to an artist and because of what AWA did in those early years there are now more and more shows open to women artists,” says Falk.

Former AWA President Linda Glover Gooch is Joni’s longtime friend and former student. Gooch’s own training as an artist came from what she calls the workshop circuit. Many professional artists choose to teach classes in a workshop format and Gooch, who had admired Joni’s work in magazines and exhibits for years, finally met Joni in one of these workshops at the Scottsdale Artists’ School.

               “I still have one of the pieces I worked on – it was a still life class,” remembers Gooch. “I think most artists can relate to this, I took a jump in that class. You paint and you paint and you paint, and then it is like someone turns on a light bulb in you. Joni did that, it was the perfect time for her to come into my life.”

“You have to have the passion”

               Joni has inspired many artists in her forty year career – her advice to those considering committing themselves fulltime to art,”if you are going to survive you have to have the passion, if you decide to be an artist you will make the time and space to become one. As a mother of two with a business to run I sometimes think ‘how did I do it’ but I wouldn’t do anything differently.”

Joni’s work has been exhibited at The National Museum of Wildlife Art in Jackson, Wyoming; the Albuquerque Museum in Albuquerque, New Mexico; Cheyenne’s Old West Museum; The Tucson Museum of Art in Tucson, Arizona; the Desert Caballeros Museum in Wickenburg, Arizona; the McAllen Museum in McAllen, Texas and the Phippen Museum in Prescott, Arizona. She continues to teach workshops at the Scottsdale Artists’ School and her work can be seen at The Legacy Gallery in Scottsdale and Settlers’ West Gallery in Tucson.

AWA Board and Officers 2013
Ann Larsen, President, Edinburg, NY 
Kathrine Lemke Waste, Vice President, Sacramento, CA
Paula Holtzclaw, Secretary, Waxhaw, NC
Judeth Davis, Treasurer,Glendale, CA
Carol Swinney, Immediate Past President, Casper, WY
Bethanne Kinsella Cople, Past President, Alexandria, VA
Nancy Boren, Past President, The Colony, TX 
DeBob Jacob,  Maypearl, TX