Updated: Mar 26, 2020
The National Museum of Women in the Arts (NMWA) is challenging the world to name 5 women artists for Women's Herstory Month. By sharing stories of, and contributions by, women artists on lnstagram, Twitter, and Facebook, they aim to help the public answer—without hesitation—"Can you name five women artists?"
I'm jumping in to raise awareness and honor the women who have inspired me to follow this calling of Artist. Find three posts here on my blog honoring:
Five Women Artists I know and cherish from my life.
Five Contemporary Women who are shaking up the art world.
Five women artists from history who created in spite of all the hardship.
But First, a Shout Out to My Granny Mary!
My Granny is one of the first woman artists I can remember knowing. Before her eye sight and arthritis prevented her from creating, she was an avid watercolor painter and jewelry maker. She won local awards for her landscapes in Dumfries, Scotland, where she still lives today.
I remember the first time she taught me watercolors. I chose a to paint a picture with a moody black sky in the background, and I struggled with creating a wash with the watercolor that was as deep and dark as the sky in the photo. She was good natured about the whole mess, and I was enamored with her ability to evoke flowers, grasses, clouds, and water with incredible skill. I have some of her paintings in my home, which I treasure.
Five Women Artists I Know & Cherish from my Life
1. Lulu Delphine
Through Photography, Writing, and Dance I Catch Happiness.
An amazing site specific choreographer (check out her stunning videos @sitespec), photographer, dancer, and mixed media artist. I met Lulu through my time at Turning the Wheel Productions, and I am so thankful to count her among my creative friends.
Mary Oliver said "Pay Attention. Be Astonished. Tell Others. That's why I make art. I am fascinated by telling a universal story and creating a unified image that inspires wonder.
In her work I see an eye for light and texture, finding evocatively feminine moments in every corner of life. I remember a time when we were both in a movement workshop together and I was struck at Lulu’s ability to flow into the full breadth of her body's movement. She took up space with such grace. It imprinted in me a sense of my own worth in dance, encouraging me to extend just a little further with my movements.
1. Robin Mcfadden
Robin McFadden of @bitethepaintbrush recently began the momentous project of painting the mythic personalities of the Periodic Table of Elements. I am in awe at her creativity, skill, and dedication to such an immense undertaking. I wait with bated breath for the final oracle deck. She recently joined Patreon to fuel this creative endeavor. Check out her work! I feel so lucky to know such a wonder of an artist.
My dream is to have a blissfully successful art career, and my highest ambition is to prove to my children that dreams come true, given enough persistence.
So far Robin has completed oodles of elements including Helium, Arsenic, Neon, and most recently Selenium. I think so far Arsenic is my favorite. The character just has so much sass!
3. The Shamanic Dolls
Shamanic Dolls is an interactive theater company devoted to the expansion of consciousness through the creative process.
Melinda Cary and Maria Flegas are the creative geniuses behind the @shamanicdolls. I have had the absolute pleasure of performing with the Shamanic Dolls several times, and every experience has been transformative. They bring an alchemical mix of theatre, art, costume, and ritual into everything they create. I feel blessed to have found a pair of creative hearts activating the intersection of art and magic in my own community.
RED, For Action. For Passion. For Our Shared Blood. Our shared Hearts... Because our new world needs to be a loving, peaceful, communal, More delicious world than ever. We have each other.... We are LOVE. Together is Action & Creation. The greatest gift.
These pictures are from the Womxn’s March in Denver where Maria and Melinda called a coven of women together to march in Red and to perform in solidarity. We stirred up the event with our presence - wearing, speaking, marching, dancing, and manifesting the change.
4. Alana Shaw
I wouldn’t be the artist I am today if I hadn't had the opportunity to know and work with Alana Shaw, today’s artist to know in my #5womenartists series. There are so many aspects of her artistry I could showcase here but I want to focus on her fully produced community shows. These traveling spectacles are an important piece of the eco-system she's cultivated for the non profit she founded 30 years ago, Turning the Wheel Productions
I have had the joy of performing in the two most recent of these productions, Stardust & Water and I Knew That Once.
These shows wove together awe-inspiring sets, breathtaking dances, mystical costumes, live music, and people from every walk of life. Alana has a magic for bringing out the artist in everyone around her, from the elder who has never danced before to the child who is just discovering their voice. Her yes let's attitude when it comes to bringing her vision to life means she can and will manifest her dreams. If you are looking for a dose of inspiration I recommend attending The Body Now Workshop.
5. Ashanti Crystal
One of the safest, happiest, most creative places I get to spend time is at A Place to B studio with the Magnificent Tribal Misfits. And this haven of dance and joy is cultivated by the one and only Ashanti Crystal, our fearless leader, choreographer, and costume designer. Ashanti's endless stream of creative thoughts constantly amazes me. Every few weeks she has created another piece for us to dance. Rich and complex and satisfying both to dance and to view. She frequently appears in the studio with some craft that is beautiful to share with the troupe.
As the performance season approaches she concocts another fantastic costume concept and then CREATES it for everyone in the troupe who doesn't know how to sew.
Her well of artistry is truly breathtaking. I am honored to spend so much of my time with such a maven of dance. If you want to steep yourself in this art check out the Tribal Fusion classes at A Place to B studio Monday and Wednesday evenings