Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Celebrating Women's History Month with "Women's Works"

It's that time of year again to celebrate women and their outstanding achievements in the history of humans on earth.  March is Women's History Month and as you have read in my previous posts there are many reasons to celebrate the accomplishment of women.  One of the is the 25th Annual Women's Works Exhibit that has been taking place in McHenry County, IL for, well, 25 years.  The Workshop for Contemporary Artists, pictured above started Women's Works as a small local exhibit for local female artists to show their artwork to the public.  There was an absence (and still is to this day) of opportunities for women to exhibit their art in galleries and museums across the world.  The original members where instrumental in helping women artists find a place to show work that might not be part of the male dominated art scene, but was of the highest caliber.  To this day Women's Works provides a venue for the best art in the world to exhibit in the beautiful and historic Old Courthouse Art Center in Woodstock, IL.  I am honored to be a member of the founders of Women's Works and hope that the groundbreaking work by women in art will continue to find a place to show their art.

Creating Visual Narrative Through Portrait Painting

While working on the paintings of each veteran for Portraits of American Veterans Project there are many choices to be made. How will I depict the individual and tell their story utilizing the visual language.  One of the most effective narrative elements for my process involves universally recognized symbols. In the case of the veterans' portraits the most powerful symbol is the American flag, the old stars and stripes.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

National Veterans Art Museum Celebrates International Women's Day With Women Veterans Art Exhibit

Overlooked / Looked Over features work based on artists' experience as women in the military
Iris M. Feliciano
(un)clothed and in her right mind - Iris M. Feliciano
Chicago, Ill. (February 2012) – On Saturday, March 10, 2012, the National Veterans Art Museum (NVAM) will host the opening of Overlooked / Looked Over, a new exhibit featuring work by eight women artists who are veterans of the U.S. military. Admission to the NVAM will be free all day with light refreshments offered from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. Artist and curator talks will take place between 1:00 p.m. and 2:00 p.m.
The show's opening is timed to coincide with the centenary anniversary of International Women's Day. Annually on March 8, thousands of events are held throughout the world to inspire women and celebrate achievements. All around the world, women are connected by activities ranging from business conferences and networking events to local women's craft markets and theatric performances. The exhibit also highlights National Women's History Month.
Overlooked / Looked Over responds to the growth in numbers of women joining the military, which has soared over the past decade. Iraq War veteran and curator Erica Slone notes that women currently comprise 14.5% of active duty military and there are 1.8 million women veterans; yet there has been little research to date on how contemporary military culture and war affects women. "Through Overlooked/Looked Over," Slone says, "I intend to shine a light on the unique experiences of women during service, in war, and as veterans."
Emily Yates
Self-Portrait - Emily Yates
According to Slone, the concept for Overlooked / Looked Over is taken from a quote by the late American actress and sex symbol Mae West, "I'd rather be looked over than overlooked." Slone states, "Depending on one's own definition of feminism, Mae West could be either the quintessential feminist or anti-feminist. Her statement, however, presents a false dichotomy of attitudes about women, and the coexistence of these polar attitudes toward women is exacerbated within our armed forces."
Artists in the show include Victoria Robillard Bryers, a retired veteran with thirty years service in the U.S. Coast Guard Reserves; Iris M. Feliciano, a Marine Corps veteran; Maggie Martin, an Army veteran and field organizer with Iraq Veterans Against the War (IVAW); Robynn Murray, an Army veteran and subject of the documentary film Poster Girl; Joyce Wagner, a Marine veteran and board chair of IVAW; Emily Yates, an Army veteran; Regina Vasquez, a Marine Corps Veteran and founder and executive director of the Fatigues Clothesline Project; and curator Erica Slone, an Air Force veteran.
The opening reception on March 10 is proudly co-sponsored by the Chicago Women's Caucus for Art and the Chicago Chapter of The Transition Network.
The show will be open to the public from Wednesday, February 29, 2012 through Memorial Day 2012. For more information, visit the museum's website at www.nvam.org.
About the National Veterans Art Museum
Formerly the National Vietnam Veterans Art Museum, the National Veterans Art Museum is dedicated to the collection, preservation, and exhibition of art inspired by combat and created by veterans. No other gallery in the world focuses on the subject of war from an artistic perspective, making this collection truly unique. The National Veterans Art Museum addresses both historical and contemporary issues related to military service in order to give patrons of all backgrounds insight into the effects of war and to provide veterans an artistic outlet to work through their military and combat experiences.
The National Veterans Art Museum is located at 1801 S. Indiana Avenue, Third Floor, and is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Tickets are $10.00 general admission and $7.00 seniors and students. Admission is free for veterans and active military and their dependents. For group admission reservations, call the Museum at 312/326-0270.
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Members: Free
General: $10
Students & Seniors: $7
Schedule a Tour:
Phone: (312) 326-0270
Fax: (312) 326-9767