"I am a woman, and I paint." -Betsy Kuhn
Women's Work is an eclectic exhibition of art by 18 local women in celebration of Women & Creativity, a city-wide event in Albuquerque, NM during the month of March. All of the pieces in the show are for sale, and you can see the originals at Ghostwolf through April 15th, 2017 (11-5, closed Tuesdays). Please call (505) 246-WOLF for more information.
Featured below are works by each artist and short statement regarding their motivations and whether (or not) they feel that their gender has influence on it. It was a delight to read their statements and I strongly encourage you to take the time to do so. I learned much and believe you will too. And, although we received some brilliant expressions regarding motivations and inspiration, in the end my favorite turned out to be the most simple of all. "I am a woman, and I paint.", underlined emphatically.
As the curator of the exhibit, it was genuinely challenging to limit the number of pieces we accepted. We had a relatively short call for art, and still received 83 pieces for consideration. The overall quality of the entries was outstanding. Ultimately, I wanted the show to capture the spirit of contemporary female artists through a set of pieces about female identity: past, present, future, and in the context of our greater environment. What we love, what we hate, how we understand our world and our place in it, and how we communicate it. What we wound up with is a very diverse grouping of work we hope illustrates this well.
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
"Do Not Think You Know Me" - Oil and Cold Wax on Panel
"I have no conscious awareness of how my gender may impact and influence my painting... Most of my current paintings are process-driven abstracts. Where real images are visible, I feel their content is gender neutral... Color choices are initially intuitive and become more analytical-- which color serves to add vigor to the work; which color will edit effectively... I will say that when I get stuck working on a painting, I add PINK. Even when there is no pink visible at the end, the tint brings an element of surprise and energy that helps me move through the process to completion."
Opening Beauty - Pencil & Ink
"Most of my work reflects different forms of relationships and/or concepts of beauty. In those ways I believe my art is influenced by my gender. I work in an inspired creativity that flows into new forms and shapes that intermingle to represent an other-worldly reality, but one that has elements of the reality we all know."
The Line That Divides Us - Oil on Panel
"Working as a midwife for the past 20 years has required a certain technical knowledge, a whole lot of patience, and immeasurable trust in process... Every day I do the hard work of respectfully caring for women. To replenish, I go to my studio. Like the art of dance and midwifery, abstract painting requires all the knowledge, skills, colors, and techniques to be available. Midwifery has taught me that each birth is unique... In the end, the paintings will be what they are meant to be. Not knowing the outcome is the magic."
Over the Rainbow - Found Art
"I have always been drawn to picking up strange objects I find in my travels. At home, I combine these objects with household recyclable metals to create mystical figures, gardens, butterflies, and other whimsies. Being a woman, how my gender reflects in my art speaks for itself."
In My Mother's Dreams - Photography/Digital Art
"I am a risk taker and have no fear of failing when I try to create something new. I am continually experimenting and trying new things. Some work and some don't but I always feel that I learn from both my successes and my failures."
Into the Woods - Charcoal, Cold Wax, & Graphite
"I am retired now as a school counselor and family therapist. I was especially drawn to helping children make art to express themselves. I took a number of classes in art therapy at UNM. Many more women than men were attracted to this career... I am not sure how to best respond to the question of how my gender affects my art. I am a woman, and I paint."
Static - Acrylic
"Painting gives me an outlet that allows me to separate from day-to-day life. I do not approach each new piece with the mindset of "As a woman, I'm going to create..." But, ultimately I cannot separate myself, my gender, my id from my work. And, my work very much reflects the id, the unexpressed child, the suppressed little girl, the playful yet angry adult. Every painting is an opportunity to throw off restraints and expectations, as a woman and a human."
My Gioconda - Oil on Linen
"Some of my work is about opening a narrative that presents an ideological model of society which should help to cease the categorization and judgments about women on the basis of their appearance. Body image has been a focus of my work for awhile... In my series "She Dreams"... the model has an amazing air of comfort and confidence with her nude body... there is an irresistible beauty in that confidence and courage..."
New Mexico Sunset - Acrylic on Canvas
"I feel that being a female artist who is also a mother brings the essence of life to my art... there are concepts and at times images that are reflected in my work. There is the concept of birth, birth of creation, birth of a planet - Mother Earth is a constant influence in my work. Birth of an idea, to have a thought and nurture it to its fullest potential then watching it grow on a canvas. There are the colors of fire and passion that I bring to the canvas then I can shift to the softer colors. These allow me to see and be many things to complete the whole.
All of life's cycles."
When Momma Went to Mexico - Encaustic Collage
"I (mostly) paint birds and nature, which reflects my environment not my gender. I live in the bosque. I love nature, (I) usually find a spiritual aspect in nature and all that I see. I am intuitive, and bring the energy of nature into my paintings."
Memories - Ceramic, Steel, Wood
"I am intrigued with expressing the facades and paradoxes within us: tenderness and rage, fragility and defiance, sensitivity and invulnerability, and my perspective of course is female. I believe in pulling in beauty and nature - they blend with inner nature... Women’s lives and experiences are nominally valued; our voices are disregarded and angrily silenced. My work is often around the issue of having a voice, how it feels to be without a voice, what it feels like to not be able to ‘breathe’ but to keep persisting."
Flow - Hand thrown and engraved porcelain
"There are many images and concepts that touch my feminine sense of self and emerge in my porcelain pieces. The deepest concept is one of centering; finding myself completely "at one with my clay"... This pushes me to be fully present and deeply connected to what I take on, and reflects my journey of being female in learning to embrace these values. Other concepts that influence my work include: flow, beauty, wonder invoked by details, nurture, risk-taking, and self-empowered change that dares me to push past boundaries."
Shapeshifter Deer - Canvas Giclée
"In some ways, being a female does affect my artwork. Depending on the spiritual pathway that I currently am on... For me, life is a journey and art making is an essential part of this life. This journey is my path through life, it encompasses my dreams, spiritual paths, willingness to work, perseverance and to know myself. Enlightenment for me is simplification of all things. Less is more is really a motto that I live by."
Two Steps Backwards - Bronze
"I was schooled to be a classical figurative sculptor. Between my numerous commissioned figurative works, my personal preferences for sculptures I created on my own most often included sculpting the beauty of the female form, in all sizes and shapes. I find the female curves and rhythms to be uncommonly beautiful. I also believe that I can portray the feel, sensuality and earthiness through my hands as they work and shape the clay to bring a sculpture to life. Most of my contemporary works have extended those ideas and feelings and exhibit the curves, rhythms, and sensuality as well."
Past & Present Entwined - Photography/ Digital Art
"I think women have a strong need to express their feelings and emotions in their art. I know I do. I find myself looking for the emotion in every scene and hoping I can convey my feelings as well as the story... Digital art allows more latitude to be expressive and I think women in general feel the need for that emotional outlet. If I am able to convey movement, or joy, or sadness, or any connection at all, I have accomplished much."
The Guardian - Acrylic on Panel
"Inasmuch as art reflects the identity of the artist, I believe my work reflects an intersection of all my identities. It is Female, Jewish, Queer, and Progressive. And as it engages the viewer, I hope it is also so much more... My work is storied, it holds in honor the domestic, it often relies on traditional folk art themes, it has been called outsider art. The gender of my figures is often nebulous and they dwell in families. As a person raised female and born in the mid 1950s, I see these themes as traditional to the role I was assigned. At the same time I hope they also question and confront the secondary status given to the value of these themes and this imagery."
Whale Watch - Watercolor
"My gender definitely influences my work. Conceptually, visually, and I believe viscerally."
Where to see it:
March 18-April 15 (11-6, closed Tuesdays)
2043 Sth Plaza St NW
Albuquerque, NM 87104