Featured Event | American Women Artists

Cartersville, GA
Booth Western Art Museum, October 23-January 4

Joni Flak, Winter’s Early Light, oil, 16 x 20.

Joni Falk, Winter’s Early Light, oil, 16 x 20.

This story was featured in the October 2014 issue of Southwest Art magazine. Get the Southwest Art October 2014 print issue or digital download now–then subscribe to Southwest Art and never miss another story!

Women have made many advances in the art world over the past decades, but the American Women Artists organization believes there is always room for improvement. In fact, part of the group’s mission is to make sure women are represented in art’s upper echelons; it has redoubled its efforts to line up museum shows for members. This month AWA members present 80 sculptures and paintings in a show titled Prevailing Winds at the Booth Western Art Museum. The show opens with a reception on Thursday, October 23.

Though rooted in western art, the AWA has expanded recently to embrace artists from across the country and Canada. “These established artists are at the top of their game,” says Diane Swanson, executive director. “AWA’s exhibit at such a highly respected venue as the Booth Western Art Museum brings additional exposure and acclaim to the work of women representational artists today, contributing to their trajectory to the forefront of the American art scene.”

Sculptor Diane Mason, a master signature member, says that it is an honor to show work with the other artists and at a prestigious museum. Mason’s poignant bronze MOTHER LOVE is on view in the show. It takes a special talent to convey emotion when working with a material as tough as bronze, but that is one of Mason’s trademarks, and MOTHER LOVE is a quintessential example of her work. What contributes to her sensitivity is that she often knows her subjects personally. This particular bronze piece is inspired by Roberta and Bob, a pair of Bobwhite quail owned by the Colorado-based artist. Last summer Roberta laid 18 eggs, and 14 of them hatched. “Bob and Roberta were both devoted parents, keeping the little ones warm and safe underneath them, even as the chicks grew and became quite large,” Mason says. “It was totally endearing to watch the family interactions and how little heads and legs poked out from various places.”

Kathrine Lemke Waste, Nopalitos, watercolor, 21 x 22.

Kathrine Lemke Waste, Nopalitos, watercolor, 21 x 22.

Kathrine Lemke Waste, also a master signature member, was first juried into the AWA event in 2000. Waste says it was the first time she had participated in a national show, and it also became the catalyst that launched her art career. While at the show, she landed gallery representation. Upon returning home, she quit her job in academia and took a gamble on a full-time career in fine art. The Northern California artist notes that her watercolor in the show, NOPALITOS, is inspired by two cuttings from a collection of cactus and succulents. “The Opuntia and Euphorbia were salvaged after a frost and transplanted in my studio for the winter,” she says. “The backlighting of the late-afternoon sun through my studio window brought the spines into sharp relief and made an interesting contrast with the metal cans and the softness of the Mexican blanket I’d pinned up as a curtain.”

Waste notes that more than a decade after first appearing in the show that launched her art career, she is able to “pay it forward” this year as the newly elected president of the organization’s board of directors. —Bonnie Gangelhoff  

contact information

Featured in the October 2014 issue of Southwest Art magazine–click below to purchase:
Southwest Art October 2014 print issue or digital download Or subscribe to Southwest Art and never miss a story!

Subscribe to Southwest Art magazine
Learn how to paint & how to draw with downloads, books, videos & more from North Light Shop
Sign up for your Southwest Art email newsletter & download a FREE ebook