Spotlight | American Women Artists

Scottsdale, AZ
Bonner David Galleries, November 12-January 30

Pamela Hetherly, Arch, oil, 20 x 16.

Pamela Hetherly, Arch, oil, 20 x 16.

This story was featured in the November 2015 issue of Southwest Art magazine. Get the Southwest Art November 2015 print issue or digital download now–then subscribe to Southwest Art and never miss another story

Twenty-five years ago, a small cadre of like-minded painters and sculptors came together to mount an exhibition at the Tucson Museum of Art. What made the event unusual for its time was that the show featured only women artists. Today the once-fledgling organization, American Women Artists, boasts more than 700 members from across the United States and Canada.

This month the group celebrates its 25th anniversary with a show of more than 100 artworks at Bonner David Galleries in Scottsdale. The show opens with a reception from 6 to 9 p.m. on Thursday, November 12. “American Women Artists is an incredibly influential organization,” says Joni Falk, a founding member. “Every 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.” An awards ceremony honoring Falk and two other founding members, Donna Howell-Sickles and Star Liana York, also takes place on November 12 from 3 to 5:30 p.m. at Scottsdale’s Museum of the West. Here we introduce you to just a few of the artists participating in the show.

Pennsylvania artist Sandra Corpora finds inspiration in the way light creates different patterns of values and colors. Her subjects of choice are often close at hand—the flowers from her garden, the Bushkill River, and sometimes even the face of a family member. In RETURN TRIP, which is on display in the show, Corpora captures her husband, Pat, after a tough bike ride in Italy. Fortunately, Corpora says, cycling and painting both take up a lot of time, so she can paint while he rides off into the sunrise.

Cathryne Trachok, Pony Tails, oil, 24 x 24.

Cathryne Trachok, Pony Tails, oil, 24 x 24.

Cathryne Trachok lives in picturesque Napa Valley in the heart of the California wine country. Her eclectic subject matter includes sunflowers, sailboats, and small boys playing on the beach. In her show painting, PONY TAILS, Trachok depicts a scene that unfolded recently in the hills above Napa. A young girl—“a slip of a thing,” Trachok says—stood amid a trio of horses. What attracted Trachok’s attention was that the huge horses seemed to respond to the petite girl like she was one of them.

Maine painter Pamela Hetherly is another artist with her creative eye trained on a variety of subjects—the door of a small-town New England post office, two boats in a harbor, a stack of books on a chair, a jar of eggs, or a bowl full of apples. Hetherly’s painting ARCH, which is included in the show, captures the light along the alley where she walked every day last summer on her way to study at the Jerusalem Studio School in Civita Castellana, Italy.

For Cindy Kopenhafer, the unspoiled western landscape and the region’s abundant wildlife are often sources of inspiration. And trees are among the Montana artist’s favorite subjects because, she says, each one is like a human figure, with its own character. In her drawing TREE II, on view in the show, she demonstrates her talents at capturing the complexity of a tree’s branches as they weave and twist toward the horizon. —Bonnie Gangelhoff

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Featured in the November 2015 issue of Southwest Art magazine–click below to purchase:
Southwest Art November2015 print issue or digital download Or subscribe to Southwest Art and never miss a story!

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