Monday, October 29, 2012
Women in the Arts – A Special Exhibit at the Winnsboro Center for the Arts
“It isn’t so much about the art you give me. What I want to show is the passion you feel for your art, especially how it relates from a woman’s perspective.”
WINNSBORO The sex of the artist matters. It influences the way art is created, viewed, and discussed. Women in the Arts is an exhibit presented by the Winnsboro Center for the Arts that showcases female artists who work in various disciplines. The exhibit opened October 17, and is free to the public. Some of the East Texas artists included are Georgia Moore, Kathy Rachel, Barbara Richert, Becky Pickett, Maryann Miller, Brenda Roberts, Margit Iguchi, Missie Duke, Denise Amy Haid-Spence, Carolyn Edwards, Penny Holly, Brenda Henegar, and Lynn Adler.
Brenda Roberts of Sayadream Studio in Winnsboro organized and mounted the exhibit, and she asked the artists to reflect and share what drives and motivates them to do their art. She told them, “It isn’t so much about the art you give me. What I want to show is the passion you feel for your art, especially how it relates from a woman’s perspective.” Each artist’s statement has been included as a part of her exhibit space.
This exhibit is different from many others because it includes all forms of artistic expression – visual, literary and musical. In addition to books by local authors, there are artifacts and books from Claudia Cranston, who was raised in Winnsboro and went on to become a famous magazine writer and author in the 1920s and 1930s. Her work was featured in a variety of magazines: Atlantic Monthly, Ladies’ Home Journal, and Good Housekeeping. She accepted commissions to tour Europe and write about people and places and different cultures and customs, visiting all of the countries except the Soviet Union. She based her nonfiction book, I’ve Been Around, on those travels, but her most famous work was her novel Rosiki The Rose, which MGM made into the movie It’s a Big Country in 1949.
In visual art, the show features paintings, sculpture and a wide range of fiber and textile art. “My purpose is to showcase the role that women play in arts from traditional handwork from the past into the present, along with contemporary art,” Roberts says. “In textile art, we have examples of fine needlework, quilting, weaving and dressmaking.”
Traditional arts such as pottery, textiles, basketry, and even jewelry making have long been credited to the female segment of many cultures. Epic poets, Homer and Virgil, both mention the contributions of women as textile artists, poets, and musicians in early Greek and Roman literature. This exhibit is Winnsboro’s way of honoring the contributions of modern-day women.
History shows us that although women have been strong participants in the arts for generations, it was only in the 20th century that women have been accepted into the academic arts as equal in talent and social relevance. Little is known or discussed about the relative differences and perspectives that women bring to art and the driving forces behind their work that is often gender based. Usually produced by women, traditional arts, some labeled as “crafts,” such as needlework, quilting, weaving/textiles, and pottery, have only recently begun to be accepted into the fine art community.
Like many other areas of society, women still struggle with artistic recognition in the mainstream art world, even while producing work in the more contemporary processes of photography, sculpture, painting, and design.
The Women in the Arts exhibit seeks to focus on areas of self-reflection, life experiences, transformation and spiritual growth that help to answer the ageless question for all artists – “Why do we, as humans, create art?”
The exhibit will run through Saturday, November 17. For more information, contact: The WCA at 903-342-0686 or Sayadream Studio at 903-497-6136.