American Women Artists

Who We Are and What We Do
Since its inception, American Women Artists has worked diligently to bring women artists to the attention of the art world through museum shows, juried competitions in leading galleries around the country, festivals, symposiums, workshops and an international exchange. Our goal is to increase the number of professional opportunities for women in the visual fine arts by creating the kinds of opportunities that lead to greater inclusion.

American Women Artists serves members throughout the United States along with a growing contingent of artists from Canada. AWA is an independent, tax-exempt nonprofit organization that celebrated its inaugral exhibit in 1990 at the Tucson Museum of Art and incorporated as a 501c3 in the state of New Mexico in 1998.

A Brief History
AWA’s inaugural exhibit was in 1990 at the Tucson Museum of Art, and continues through today with annual shows held in prestigious galleries and museums throughout the United States and abroad. The annual exhibition schedule is punctuated with keynote events like the Women’s Festival of the Arts held for two consecutive years in Santa Fe, the cultural-exchange exhibition in Italy in the year 2000, and workshops taught by Master and Signature members at such prestigious art schools as the Scottsdale Artists School.

AWA’s first juried competition was held in 1997-1998, awards of sponsored workshops, art materials and supplies and cash were presented to 15 artists in encouragement of their art careers. The tradition of holding an annual National Juried Competition, with the finalists exhibiting alongside Master and Signature members in AWA’s Annual Member show, is now a long-standing one, speaking to AWA’s dedicated mission to create professional opportunities to women artists in museums and galleries across the country.

Board of Directors
AWA is governed by an all-volunteer executive board consisting of a President, Vice President, Secretary/Treasurer and board members. The group convenes in person at least once a year, while conducting additional meetings via Skype. The 2014-2015 board members hail from New York to California and include:
Kathrine Lemke Waste, Sacramento, California, President
Laurie Stevens, Cascade, Montana, Vice President
Paula Holtzclaw, Waxhaw, North Carolina, Secretary
Diane Mason, Berthoud, Colorado, Treasurer
Earline Burke, Cartersville, Georgia
Aleta Carpenter, Redding, California
Robin Knowlton, Lodi, California
Leah Lopez, New York, New York
Ann Self, Hutchinson, Kansas

AWA Staff
Diane Swanson – Executive Director
Nicole Cardoza – Freelance Writer and Social Media Consultant
Rachel McCumber – Business Services Consultant

Exhibition History
1990-1994 Tucson, AZ – Tucson Museum of Art
1996 Jackson, WY – National Museum of Wildlife Art
1996 Bennington, VT – Bennington Center for the Arts
1997-1998 Scottsdale, AZ – Trailside Gallery (first juried competition)
1999 Taos, NM – Total Arts Gallery
2000 Santa Fe, NM – Nedra Matteucci Fine Art Gallery & Contemporary Southwest Gallery
2000 Sorrento, Italy, The Cloisters
2001 Santa Fe, NM Festival of Women in the Arts (over 40 participating galleries)
2003 Santa Fe, NM – McLarry Fine Art
2004 Santa Fe, NM – McLarry Fine Art & Meyer Gallery
2005 Dallas, TX – Texas Art Gallery
2007 Scottsdale, AZ – LeKAE Gallery
2008 Pasadena, CA – Galerie Gabrie
2009 Easton, MD – South Street Art Gallery
2010 Dallas, TX – Southwest Art Gallery
2011 Atlanta, GA – Huff Harrington Fine Arts
2012 Tucson, AZ – K. Newby Gallery and Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum
2013 Fredericksburg, TX – RS Hanna Gallery
2014 Orleans, MA – Addison Art Gallery
2014 Cartersville, GA – Booth Western Art Museum
2015 Scottsdale, AZ – Bonner David Galleries

Photo: Past Presidents of American Women Artists: From left to right: Linda Glover Gooch, Nancy Boren, Star York, Carol Swinney, Bethanne Kinsella Cople and Donna Howell-Sickles
Photo by Jack Kulawik