The Latest from American Women Artists

Carrie Waller Abundance

The Addison Art Gallery will host and present several artist demonstrations by AWA members in coordination with AWA’s 17th Annual Member Show & National Juried Competition Exhibition, during the entire duration of the exhibit, August 15 through September 15.


Prevailing Winds – AWA Museum Show at the Booth
June 30 deadline approaches!
River Otter -Testing the Wind, a serpentine stone sculpture by Master Signature memberCathryn Jenkins, will be on display at the Booth this fall.
For all Master and Signature members participating inPrevailing Winds – we remind you that completed consignment forms, artwork images, catalog submission items are due June 30. 
Catalog submission items include bios, artwork statements, artist photos and artwork images formatted to 5 x 7 inches, 300 ppi.
Demos Scheduled for Annual Show at the Addison Art Gallery
Virginia artist Bethanne Kinsella Cople will demonstrate her plein air technique 
The Addison Art Gallery will host and present several artist demonstrations by AWA members in coordination with AWA’s 17th Annual Member Show & National Juried Competition Exhibition, during the entire duration of the exhibit, August 15 through September 15.
On Saturday, Aug. 16, from 9:30-11am, Master Signature members Bethanne Kinsella Cople and Ann Larsen will conduct a dual demo, working from small studies to create a larger painting.  As they paint, they will share stories about the camaraderie of painting together in the field, as they demonstrate the importance of peer critiques in bringing new perspective to one’s work.

A complete schedule of events will be available on the AWA website in early June.  


Handle with Care

As most artists know, shipping fine art can sometimes be a frustrating experience. This was the case recently when a watercolor piece by AWA Master Signature member Kathrine Lemke Wastearrived safely at a National Watercolor Society Show, but did not fare so well on the return trip. 

“We couldn’t imagine what had happened – the painting looked like it was punched through with a forklift.” Lemke Waste recalls. 

Jennifer King, manager of the Northern California based framing business that custom-built the shipping carton for the damaged painting, worked with Lemke Waste to follow up on her insurance claim.  The process they went through offers a cautionary tale about packing, shipping and reading the fine print.

Most big shippers, like UPS and FedEx have a fine art replacement cap of $500 to $1000, which according to King doesn’t begin to cover most original artwork and even some of the more expensive prints. Additionally, if insurance is claimed, the artist should be prepared to turn the damaged artwork over to the shipper in exchange for an insurance payout.  Consequently, artists often find themselves insuring their art well below retail replacement value, or simply sending their art uninsured, in effect, “self-insuring.” 
With the damaged watercolor, compelling photos weren’t enough.  Lemke Waste had to show proof of her materials costs and offer gallery receipts from the sale of comparable pieces of her work.  The process took several months and even though King kept the damaged carton for inspection, they nearly had to forfeit their claim on a technicality.
King used an online tool on the shipper’s website to print the return address label, and it turned out (in the fine print) that the company didn’t cover damage done to packages with that particular label. Had the package been damaged on the way to the show or had King printed out a return label from another link on the website there would have fewer hurdles.

“We learned a lot from this – first you have to really read the fine print.  Document and record everything. If you notice damage when the package is delivered you have to get the driver to acknowledge and note it,” King says. “Take photos and get right onto the phone and get a claim going with the shipper – large companies don’t always handle or document properly, you need to be diligent because often times they won’t be.”

 Packing Tips for 2-D works:
  • 344
    Jennifer King of Skyline 1 Framing 
    makes an emphatic point 
    about bubble-wrap

    Use a soft wrap, like bubble-wrap, at least 2-3 inches thick. Using a stiff material is more likely to cause breakage, your item has to be able to shift a little while in transit.

  • For a framed piece use foam edges or cardboard corners to protect the frame and artwork.
  • If using a cardboard box be sure to use “Shipping Grade” cardboard.
  • With 2-D works, Plexiglass is always preferable to glass because it deals better with vibrations and heat. However, if you must have glass be sure to tape it in an X pattern or use a protective film to insure that if the glass does shatter there are not shards loose that can damage the artwork.  
  • Airfloat boxes are sturdy, well-built and reuseable.


Women Artists: Time for Another Perspective


by Nicole Cardoza 

Author’s note: With the upcoming AWA show at the Booth Museum of Western Art in the fall and AWA’s ongoing commitment to museum-level exhibitions for its members, in the April edition we launched an in-depth look at the state of museum representation for women artists.  This article is second in a series.

The historical marginalizing of women artists is a story told on museum walls and in gallery exhibitions throughout the world. According to the Washington D.C. based National Museum for Women in the Arts,  51 percent of today’s visual artists are women, yet only five percent of the art currently on display in American museums is by women artists.

In 1987 an anonymous group of artists calling themselves the Guerrilla Girls began using their art to call attention to gender inequality in the world of professional art.  According to their survey done at the time,  of the 169 artists on display at The Museum of Modern Art (MOMA) only 13 percent were female while at New York’s Metropolitan Museum only three percent of the work was by female artists – although, their report wryly noted,  83 percent of the nudes on display at the Met depicted girls and women.

Fast-forward to 2011 –  the Guerrilla Girls reinvestigated New York museums and found just four percent of the artists in the Metropolitan Museum’s contemporary section were female. MOMA’s walls brought the averages up somewhat – today, at MOMA women now make up 26 percent of the artists on display – double that of 1987.
Throughout a series of interviews conducted over the last year, several AWA artists and our 2013 gallery host have shared their thoughts about art, gender, influences and what it takes to succeed. as a woman artist.
 Master Signature member Donna Howell Sickles demonstrated her technique at a 2010 AWA event.

Donna Howell-Sickles, one of American Women Artists’ founding members, notes that more women than ever before are able to make a living with their art, but she still believes women are underrepresented in the upper echelons of the art community. Howell-Sickles doesn’t want to see female artists generalized but celebrated and taken seriously. 

“The art world has treated me well and I have a wonderful life in the arts, but if you are being honest it is still a world skewed heavily towards the male.” Howell-Sickles says.
According to Maggie Gillespie of RS Hanna Gallery, women are finally able to establish themselves in the fine arts because of opportunities to exhibit and show their work that did not exist before. They gain confidence from acceptance, support, and a history that male artists have always benefited from.
“Summertime”, oil by Master Signature Member Nancy Boren 

“Talent doesn’t come in gender roles and we shouldn’t put down the male perspective, but we have had an awful lot of it,” says Gillespie. “It is time for another point of view.”

Master Signature member Nancy Boren, daughter of famed Cowboy artist James Boren, recognizes the influence a successful, female role model can have on a developing artist.

“The only professional female artist I knew when I was a girl wasBettina Steinke,” remembers Boren. “Even though my dad’s other artist friends were men, there Bettina was in their midst – in the same shows with powerful work. With Bettina’s success shining right in front of me I always knew that kind of life was a real possibility.”

Master Signature member Nancy Boren in her studio

AWA Board and Officers 2014
Ann Larsen, President, Edinburg, NY 
Kathrine Lemke Waste, Vice President, Sacramento, CA
Ann Self, Treasurer, Hutchinson, KS
Paula Holtzclaw, Secretary, Waxhaw, NC
Carol Swinney, Immediate Past President, Casper, WY
Bethanne Kinsella Cople, Past President, Alexandria, VA
DeBob Jacob, Maypearl, TX