Friday, March 19, 2010

A Full Circle Moment: Women Artist Series

I am proud to announce I am an exhibiting artist as part of The Mary H. Dana Women Artists Series exhibition:
"Illusive Balance: Transcendental Pattern and Layered Surface"Nicole Ianuzelli, Marsha Goldberg, Lisa Pressman, and Debra Ramsay.
March 17 – April 28, 2010Douglass Library Galleries, Mabel Smith Douglass Library
Rutgers University

8 Chapel Drive
New Brunswick, NJ
Monday – Friday, 9 am – 4:30pm and weekends by appointment.

I showed my first painting at the Douglass Library as a student. It is great to be back!


Lisa Pressman installation

"More than 300 artists responded to the Dana Women Artists Series open call for submissions in 2007-08. The Dana Women Artists Series jury was comprised of three distinguished arts professionals: Sheryl Conkelton, Director of Exhibitions and Public Programming, Temple University Art Gallery, Philadelphia; Jorge Daniel Veneciano, Director of the Sheldon Museum of Art (Lincoln, Nebraska) and formerly Director of the Robeson Galleries, Rutgers (Newark); and Marilyn Symmes, Curator of American Prints and Drawings and Director of the Morse Research Center for Graphic Arts at the Zimmerli Art "Museum, Rutgers (New Brunswick)

In 1975, I arrived at Douglass College, in NJ to study art. At that time, Douglass was still an all women's college. There was a wonderful cast of characters in the art department: Bob Watts, Geoffrey Hendricks, Peter Stroud, Gary Keuhn,Hui Ka Kwong, and John Goodyear. This list of instructors reveals the fact that the art students had no female mentors or role models. Not only this, but up until 1971, the college gallery exhibited only male artists. It wasn't until 1977 that Joan Semmel was hired as the first full-time female faculty member.
But, in 1971, Joan Snyder, former Douglass graduate and MFA from Rutgers conceived of a series of lectures and shows that were called the Women Artists Series (now called The Mary H. Dana Women Artists Series). This series brought to Douglass College women artists, whose works were not represented in mainstream galleries. It gave these women a venue in which to show their art and gave us, the students, a chance to interact with them.



Women Make Lists, 2001, Joan Snyder

Here are just some of the artists that I seem to remember hearing talk about their lives and their work:

Jackie Winsor, May Stevens, Joan Snyder, Carolee Schneemann, Miriam Schapiro, Judy Pfaff, Joan Semmel, Alice Aycock, Hannah Wilke, Ana Mendieta, Howardina Pindall, Harmony Hammond, Nancy Spero
I especially remember Alice Neel, as a little old tough lady sitting in her chair, talking about her wild portraits, Marcia Tucker presenting a slide show on tattoo as art, and Judy Chicago 's talk about the Dinner party.


#1 Rope, wood and hemp 1976 Jackie Winsor

One of my personal career goals was to be able to come back to Douglass Collage as a participant in this series. I look back at my work and see the visual influences of many of the artists who presented. I wonder what my life would have been like if I hadn't been exposed to information about how they handled their lives and their art-making careers. I remember one of them—I can’t remember who—saying, "Don't do it [become an artist] if you don't have to." Not one of them said it was easy, but all of them presented the possibilities! I thank them and all of those involved in keeping this series alive.




Nancy Spero, Israeli Soldiers

The Official History:
(DWAS) can be found here

4 comments:

Pete Hoge said...

looks like a wonderful show.

I saw your work last year at
the Rosenfeld gallery.

Glad to have run across your
blog.

Pete.

cathsheard said...

Congratulations, and thanks for sharing the story behind this. I hope all goes incredibly well.

CIRCLE said...

That is a great list of women, I particularly love the work of May Stephens.

Margaret Ryall said...

That's quite an inspiring list of artists you've presented. I'm always thankful for those artists who blazed the trail for the acceptance of women in the arts. We're not home free yet.