The Women of “Women’s Work” 2018: Celebrating Women & Creativity
Women’s Work is an eclectic exhibition of art by 31 New Mexican women in celebration of Women & Creativity month. All of the pieces in the show are for sale, and you can see the originals at Ghostwolf through April 1st, 2018 (11-6, closed Wednesdays). Please call (505) 246-WOLF for more information.
Competition for this year’s show was intense. We juried 225 pieces from 63 women. The overall quality of the entries was outstanding, and as curator I had to make many difficult decisions. We wound up opening up a bit more space in the gallery for the exhibit, ultimately accepting 31 pieces of 2D and 3D art representing 31 women in all stages of their careers.
Featured below are works by each artist and short statement regarding whether (or not) they feel that their gender has influence on it. It was a delight to read what they had to say and I strongly encourage you to take the time to do so. I learned much and believe you will too.
All of the submitting artists deserve huge congratulations on their work. And, it is a pleasure, an honor, and a genuine treat to display the chosen pieces in our gallery for a month during the show.
-Amy M. Ditto, Ghostwolf Gallery
“Raven on Egg”, Mixed Media on Canvas, 24 x 20 / $
Women remind all of us that we hold creations within. To give birth to our hopes, both women and men go through an expectancy process. Once we deliver, we then have the responsibility to nurture our creations to fruition. If we give from True Self, we evoke the best and challenge the worst, in us. We give life to our dreams. In return, our dreams challenge us to choose life, through our daily responses.
“Housesitter”, Collage, 12 x 12 / $
Until women artists are seen and appreciated as equal to men we will struggle for representation, shows, grants, and recognition. The lines are blurring. Supporting each other in business and creativity… holding each other up … sharing knowledge… these efforts on our own behalf will collectively act to bring us all closer to a level playing field.
Jona Lou Batt
“Life’s Illusions”, Acrylic on Panel, 15 x 15 / $
Because I am an abstract artist I imagine my gender plays a part in my choice of marks and incorporated symbolism as well as the choices for my work.
“Aftermath”, Ceramic, 19 x 14 x 12 / $
I come from a long line of women artists. My mom’s generation did not call themselves artists, instead they said they were crafters. They lived the kind of life that brought Martha Stewart fame and fortune. I like to think of it as living an artistic life. They made quilts, clothing, curtains, drapes and of course crafts which could be anything. Some of my aunts were exquisite bakers, cooks and some did needle work and eventually many of them got around to painting too. They were to me some of my greatest supporters and definitely fans of my work. Every family occasion called for a quilt and as the family grew we switched to tying quilts and saved hand stitched quilts for extra special occasions. One of my grandmothers once told me she didn’t want to bother dragging out the sewing machine, so she just made her clothing “on her hands”. The art world has come to call this being a “maker.” I can embrace that term for all of those women in my life, and claim it for myself as well. I had the good fortune of bringing this background with me as I went to college, where I majored in costume and make-up design because I felt like I should stick to working with fabric since it has always been a part of my life. I eventually found my way to getting my BFA in studio art and finally settling in clay sculpture where I feel most at home.
“A Wing & A Prayer”, Bronze, 33x12x6 / $
I am empathic, passionate and sensitive. My work reflects my joys, pains and concerns for our planet. I believe that I am most influenced by my love of life and deep connection to the earth and its inhabitants.
I work primarily in abstract, figurative bronze sculpture and painting. I revel in dramatic gestures and vibrant palettes. My work frequently includes elongated, faceless, fantastical figures. It’s often noted that my sculptures and paintings convey a dynamic sense of movement. I rely on the medium as an active participant in determining the subject of my art. While I sometimes plan, my most successful sculptures and paintings are of organic origins. I create art because it is a wonderful way to communicate at the deepest level with those around me.
“Here For All The Right Reasons”, Oil on Panel, 36×36 / $
“Really Balance is Messy”, Oil CWM on Panel, 18 x 18 / $
I Paint like a MOTHER, all paintings are part of a series “Really”.
“Uterine Veil”, Oil on Canvas, 56 x 46 / $
With our world having been sorely out of balance for thousands of years as the Feminine has been de-sacralized and de-valuized, I see it as my mission and purpose in life to raise Her back up on equal footing with the Masculine. Many, if not all of the problems we face in the world today, I believe, can be traced back to this one truth. I find it of vital importance for both men and women to understand that we hold both energies inside of us and both must be healthy in communion with each other in order to have and live in a healthy and vital world. My work and all that I do (bodywork, creative healing workshops, and art work) is directed towards this goal: A world that honors and respects the Sacred Feminine in harmony with the healthy Masculine.
Tina De La Luz
“Inner Core”, Wood, 3 x 11 x 3 / $
The sculpture work I create starts with a relationship with the material. The material, weather wood or stone, provides an opportunity for me to have a voice and an expression of my womanhood, inner-spirit, and humanness. Within each piece a sense of sensuality and feminine strength is expressed.
Red Dogs, Oil on Canvas, 30 x 40 /$
It has never been easy to be accepted as a woman painter. I started out doing abstracts, but found my strength as an artist was to be a personal exploration of human emotion, using the female figure as a vehicle. After the economic downfall, I was one of millions who lost much, in addition to the closing of all my galleries and the rapidly changing art scene, I also lost myself. It has taken me nearly 10 years to find myself again, to realize that I, as well as my art have changed. I still believe women are the architects of civilization and through the strength of their emotions we all can find a light to guide and inspire; however, my work today defines, simultaneously, what I was and who I am now, in this point in time, as I delve into a kind of emotional abstraction. Still painting the concept of a woman’s emotions but using the past as foundation for the present.
“Skyline”, Collage, 8 x 10 / $
I don’t think my gender influences my artwork. Having been raised by my grandparents (grandfather was an artist), I was treated the same as my brother. I was taught at an early age to use scissors, paper, and glue. I use whatever media strikes me including soapstone and have helped to pour bronze for some of my marquettes, even though my feeling is that sculpture is still considered a man’s profession.
“Crossing Waters Again”, Acrylic on Paper, 14 x 28 / $
Everything I paint is inspired by something I feel, struggle with, or am trying to work through. By proxy, as a woman, I am impacted by my gender in many ways. I also just recently moved back to New Mexico from the Middle East, where I was living and working. There, I was constantly aware of my gender (as I was often harassed in the street, catcalled, or treated differently due to it) and painting became a respite in which I would work through some of my frustrations, discontentments and explorations of self. My paintings explore a complicated inner-being; one that takes much pride in her identity and the particular strength derived from her gender. I am also inspired by female painters who have pushed the envelope in finding and exploring their inner selves and their creativity, and in particular, Arab female artists who have pushed against societies expectations and taboos to create art that testifies to their resiliency and self-awareness.
“Three Quarter Nude”, Charcoal on Paper, 11 x 14 / $
I am a woman artist working in a traditional setting. I draw from live professional models using traditional drawing materials. My models are almost always beautiful young women. This is the way male artists worked for centuries.
The challenge for me as a woman making nude drawings of women is that I want to create a distinctly womanly beauty (not sex appeal) in these drawings. I want to capture the grace and femininity of the model with dignity and strength.
I think as a mature woman artist I bring to that challenge not only my classical training but a sensitivity and real affection for my subjects that I cheerfully acknowledge and hope to share with those who see the work.
“My Life”, Acrylic on Canvas, 30 x 40 / $
I was raised by loving parents who thought a woman needed a man to take care of her. Because of this, I didn’t fully understand the meaning of self acceptance and self respect. It wasn’t until I “grew up” that I realized what the true meaning of acceptance and respect was, not only for myself but others as well. I now put that understanding on canvas, using acrylic and metallic paint to create beauty that surrounds her soul and awakens the hope of a spontaneous celebration of acceptance, respect, and self love.
“Why Did the Good Dog Run Away with the Master’s Shoes?”, Oil on Panel, 34 x 28 / $
I’m not sure how my gender influences my work except that females tend to be brought up in a different way than males. It’s more that life experiences have defined the way I feel or react to certain types of images. If it’s all sweet and pretty it’s pretty much not for me. That comes across to me as illusion, fake.
“Te Amor Siempre”, Oil on Canvas, 36 x 66 / $
I’m not sure how (gender effects my work), since I’ve never been a different gender to compare it to. To draw a parallel, it’s a little like saying you understand and know exactly what “White Privilege” is if you were born Anglo (Caucasian.) Unless you’ve been outside that circle, you truly can’t judge what effect it has.
“Patricia” / Acrylic on Canvas, 36 x 36 / $
I saw the question regarding gender and had a hard time answering it and ended up sending my application in with a blank question hoping my art would speak for me. I often use my work to express what I have a hard time putting to words. For me, I suppose I don’t notice my gender influencing my art as much as I do the feelings and emotions that I have inside of me. When I paint I allow myself to feel all of the emotions that all of us struggle with (some more than others) of being human.
“Road to Nowhere”, Mixed Media, 24 x 24 / $
I don’t regard my gender as an influence. I consider all the places I’ve lived, the things I’ve done, and the people I’ve known as my inspiration. Color, texture, and light are my first influences.
“Balance Youth Dida”, Oil on Canvas, 50 x 46 / $
I think the male and female have different characters and sensitivity. I personally always can tell when I see an art piece if the artist is male or female. Consciously my art is female art; that is the fact. I am influenced by life. And, because I am a woman my art is female life influenced.
“Once in a Blue Moon”, Acrylic on Canvas, 11 x 14 / $
For many years, women’s art was displayed in the back rooms of our galleries and museums (or not at all), while men’s art was more prominently displayed. I am happy to say Women’s Work proudly displays work that exemplifies what we are about- all the “c” words, collaborate, create, cutting edge, color, care, compose and really, really cool!
“Spirit”, Digital Art/Photography, 36 x 29 / $
Over the years, I have used the female figure as the primary subject matter in my artwork. Much of my work explores the deep connection of mother/daughter relationships and more recently my relationships with my granddaughters. Through my readings of mythology, Carl Jung, and Joseph Campbell, I have also continually explored feminine archetypes as well as portrayal of Goddesses in my work – Celebrating the feminine spirit and beauty. Most of my imagery is derived from my own photographs of family members and friends.
“Mourning Hatl”, Graphite on Panel, 24 x 40 / $
I believe an abundance of female energy is my superpower. I am compelled to create in order to celebrate the struggle and the beauty that encompass a feminine state of being. Motherhood, love, nurturing, senuality, loss, fear, vulnerability, strength, resilience… these are some common and strongly feminine themes in my work. This particular body of work is inspired by the loss of my husband in 2014. The figures in my drawings have large oppressive hats or headdresses covering their faces. These multilayered hats represent the myriad of feelings my daughter and I experienced and balanced while greiving my husband’s death. My maternal connection and commitment to my daughter is a huge influence on this work.
“Extending an Olive Branch”, Oil on Canvas, 26 x 62 / $
Art gives me a voice for what I’ve always believed was inherent in me but blocked from expressing until I began painting in earnest. That moved me to examine myself more closely. I had known for years that I was an extroverted, intuitive, and tenacious woman. I also knew my approach to problem-solving and interpretation was uniquely mine. As a woman and artist, I often saw events and situations in a more nuanced light — not crude and forceful, but more poetic, gentle and sympathetic. As a result, many of my works are nuanced and poetic tending toward a soft neutral palette that I want the viewer to be drawn into. My abstracts range from mysterious to impressionistic. My figurative work is often of partial images or faceless people, suggesting some particular concept of women in our culture. I firmly believe this outcome in art is due to the impact of changes throughout my life because of the woman I am.
“Dysfunctional Beauty”, Ceramic & Wood, 8 x 11 / $
As a woman, I have always sought the beauty in life while seeking strength in myself. This often creates conflict within myself in turn spurring growth and knowledge. Each challenge and battle I face as a woman is another right of passage to the next chapter of my life. My work is my story and a reflection of each beautiful battle that has lead me to where I am.
“Axis”, Acrylic & Graphite on Panel, 16 x 16 / $
Although there are no overt references to gender in my work, I am increasingly drawn to elemental shapes and symbols as a way to dialogue with the ambiguity of life in general. I realize that on some level we are all part of an ongoing, global conversation that continues to examine traditional gender roles and conventional ways of thinking about them. I feel that paring things down to a basic level creates room for more graceful inquiries about relationship, connectivity and identity… and seek to represent that in my paintings. These compositions investigate how one thing relates to another, as well as the whole, and invite the viewer to consider that all options can be explored and celebrated.
“Nightie”, Wood & Mixed Media, 72 x 20 x 20 / $
My work is autobiographical and I think of it as being a collection of short stories. Based on my formative years and on the environments in which I have lived, I write using my own three-dimensional language, expressing narrative through form and surface. Often using reclaimed materials; each finished piece spells out an abstracted collage of personal history. I explore ideas of transformative growth, recollection, and home. Because of this, my gender greatly influences my work; I feel that I can only make what I know.
“Her Work is Never Done”, Acrylic on Canvas, 12 x 12 / $
What matters most to me is to be authentic. As a woman I respond to my life with a need to nurture. As an artist, I respond to nature as part native. And, as a hispanic I find glitter irresistible. I believe that I get to be part of the media, I react to my environment like a story teller. However, I paint from my imagination and prefer that the viewer interpret the story.
“Archaeology of the Unicorn”, Work on Paper, 32 x 46 / $
My work is influenced by my gender because it is a part of who I am — my personality, life experiences, and viewpoint all are combined into the work I make along with the broader historical and cultural constructs that are layered into the final image.
“Persephone’s Return”, Water Media, 28 x 21 / $
I don’t think gender has a huge impact on a person’s artwork. An artist is an artist despite their biological attributes. I have noticed however, there is an extreme amount of emotion in each piece I create, whether it is by the images presented or the intensity of the colors I use. I see this as a result of my personality more than my gender. My goal as an artist is to evoke an emotion from the viewer. If I have done that, I have succeeded.
“Eye of the Eclipse”, Acrylic on Canvas, 16 x 20 / $
What every artist has to offer is their point of view. Being a woman undoubtedly influences my point of view and makes me more aware of details and subtleties.
“Bleeding Heart”, Watercolor & Ink, 14 x 25 / $