The Latest from American Women Artists

Carrie Waller Abundance

Take a look at the March 2015 newsletter for what happened earlier this year with American Women Artists

Take a look at the March 2015 newsletter for what happened earlier this year with American Women Artists…

News from American Women Artists 
March 2015 
2015 Spring Online Juried Competition
Application process is now open through Juried Art Services. 
Application Deadline – March 18, 2015
Acceptance Notification – by April 10, 2015
You must be a current associate member for 2015 to be eligible to apply for the Spring Online Juried Competition and for our upcoming call for entries to the 2015 National Juried Competition later this spring. If you have not yet renewed your Associate membership, please email Diane Swanson at for a renewal invoice.
Final works selected will appear on Online Gallery slideshow on the AWA website for a full year, and will be juried for awards. 

A total value of over $5000 in cash and prizes will be presented to the winners in the Grand Prize (one for 2D and one for 3D), overall Second Prize and overall Third Prize categories.  Several Awards of Merit will also be selected. 

For full details, click here to download prospectus.


Great Sponsors Lined up for Award Prizes 
AWA is pleased to announce the following sponsors of prizes for our future award winners in the 2015 Spring Online Juried Competition. Many thanks to:

A Very Good Year for Canadian Sculptor Cathryn Jenkins 

After a lifetime as an artist, Canadian sculptor  and Master Signature member Cathryn Jenkins called 2014 the best year of her career. She secured new studio space at a cooperative with 60 other artists, made the biggest sale of her work so far and completed a large commission for the University of Alberta, Edmonton.

Cathryn Jenkins working on her commission for the University of Alberta, Edmonton 

“It’s been a pretty good year,” says Jenkins. “Sometimes it can be a real struggle being in the arts, the year before was really difficult – but now when I look back I see how things can just turn around.” 

Jenkins, whose mother is well-known sculptor Fran Jenkins, has always seen art as a lifestyle. 

“I took to it naturally, I think because of my mother,” says Jenkins. “Making a living and enjoying your work – that’s the ideal for an artist.”

Jenkins entrepreneurial sensibility for making her living in the arts is apparent in the sculpture work she has done for the University of Alberta. Originally approached to do a few smaller specialized sculptures for the University, Jenkins instead pitched the idea to do one of her large, well-known grizzly bear sculptures for the opening of the university’s new Physical Activity and Wellness Centre (PAW Centre for short). The one and one half life size grizzly bear pays homage to the university’s mascot, the Alberta Golden Bears. The bronze sculpture will be unveiled in April. 

“I pitched the idea about three years ago, and then after a year I went back and pitched it again – and they said yes,” says Jenkins. “I think that’s the difficult part for artists, our work has to communicate to people – those people can be hard to find sometimes.” 

Once she received the commission for the large bear, Jenkins went a step further and gave the university the rights to cast 100 smaller desktop bears in bronze. The proceeds from the smaller bears will go to support physical education scholarships for students at the university.  

Jenkins was also approached in 2014 by a local collector who wanted to purchase her two largest bears – weighing in at 10,000 and 8,000 pounds.  

“There are many ways to talk about art and the creative process, but the hard work comes in connecting with people and creating opportunities so we can get back into the studio with our work – doing what we love,” says Jenkins.  

A working artist since she was 20 years old, Jenkins – now 57, studied animal health for two years before deciding to go into sculpting full time. Most of Jenkins wildlife sculptures were done in stone until about 4 years ago when she began working in bronze also.    

“My mom was a prospector as well as a sculptor and we still quarry all our own stone, says Jenkins. “The huge multicolored, rough stones we get are so well-suited to the coats of the grizzlies.”  

Jenkins speaks of 2014 in excited and somewhat awed tones because she still remembers the difficulties and discouragement she faced in the years before. 

“Succeeding in the arts is hard,” says Jenkins, “but I would say to just stay on the horse, even if he really slows down you will eventually get to where you are going.”

Master Signature Member Diane Mason
Newest AWA Board Member 
Diane Mason loves what she sees 

Diane Mason, who just turned 64, has been a professional sculptor for 16 years and she entered her first AWA competition in 2004. 

“I remember I entered a small Japanese bantam rooster,” says Mason. “I was so excited when I won Best Sculpture and Runner-up to Best in Show.”

Honored to be a part of AWA since that first competition, Mason is looking forward to her new role as part of the AWA Board of Directors.

“I see great things ahead for AWA,” says Mason. “They have made great strides in recent years – doing more for their members and living up to their goals.” 

Japanese Bantam Rooster,  
in Bronze,Diane Mason

Though Mason is still sculpting she is looking forward to contributing to AWA and organizations like it, through her time and input. She brings a wealth of experience to the AWA board, having served as President of the Society of Animal Artists.

“I want to give back and focus on what I feel is meaningful in the arts,” says Mason.   

Mason will still cast a few pieces a year she says, but she has given up the intensive process of  producing works for shows and galleries in favor of a new art form that still allows for creative expression – she’s been learning to paint.