Tuesday evening was the artist round table and reception for the Bay Area Women Artists exhibit at the O’Hanlon Center for the Arts. The venue is nestled in the scenic redwoods guarded by a family of deer in Mill Valley. Forty inspiring artists were featured in the intimate and unique space.
O’Hanlon Center for the Arts’ website: “Programs offered at O’Hanlon Center for the Arts emphasize the creative process and the continued pursuit of meaning and authenticity through observation, exploration, and experimentation. Our programs are not geared toward developing or perfecting an artistic product; rather, they’re designed to allow your own perceptions to inspire your art….We come together to discover something surprising and fresh inside each of us—and we are always open to suggestions from members and outside facilitators for new workshops and programs.”
Gallerists Donna Seager and Suzanne Gray selected my video SELFIE. During the artist roundtable, they discussed the process of collaborating a cohesive artwork selection and curation. SELFIE description: Fascinated by alternative realities, my art identifies how patterns and symbols of influence impact perception and social behavior. SELFIE explores the history and consequences of the male gaze in traditional portraits. From a purposely uncomfortable and unnerving perspective, the self-portrait confronts how voyeurism invades privacy and drives identity in today’s modern world. Manufactured moments highlight narcissistic behavior and replace truthful interactions.
Patterns of the natural world coexist with humanity in Barbara Andio-Stevenson’s Hope (mixed media: clay and mulberry bark), Bebe Kuhr’s Twisted (vessel, aluminum wire, and flax paper), and Gloria Matuszewski’s Prayer for Peace #2 (oil, pencil, and canvas). According to Matuszewski’s website: “The recent drawings are inspired by anonymous artisans, usually women and children, who have worked for centuries, and continue to work, laboriously, to create beautiful fabrics and textiles to clothe, decorate and bring warmth and beauty to everyday life…”
The human condition is alive and on truthful display in Nuala Creed’s Quiero a mi Mama (ceramic), Sue Bradford’s Shadow Voices (vintage photos, thread, mull, and found book pages), Paulette Traverso’s ‘Shrooms (limited edition of 5 canvas giclee print with graphite, signed, and numbered), and Mara Lea Brown’s Dountes (acrylic on wood). From Traverso’s website: “My inspirations are nature, literature, history, music, science and art. Especially from earlier centuries where technology as we know it was nonexistent. The making of illuminated manuscripts, daguerreotypes, pigments from minerals and plants, scientific illustrations, glass models from blown glass…That primal connection of the eye, hand and spirit to make a creative expression.”
According to the National Museum of Women in the Arts, in a survey of 18 U.S. art museum permanent collections with over 10,000 artists, 87% were male, and 85% white. The numbers highlight the need for equal representation. Thanks to Donna Seager, Suzanne Gray, and the O’Hanlon Center for the Arts for highlighting the incredible breadth and depth of women artists. An opportunity that can never be taken for granted!
Bay Area Women Artists. O’Hanlon Center for the Arts. Mill Valley, CA. August 1–22, 2019.