Meet 5 Organizations Promoting Women Artists

In Honor of Women’s History Month in March, also known as “HerStory” month, I take pleasure in sharing information about five extraordinary artists’ organizations that exist to promote women artists. Each organization offers special opportunities to advance the professional art careers of women artists in different ways.

A.I.R. Gallery

A.I.R. Gallery, located in Brooklyn, N.Y., is the first non-profit, artist-run gallery for women in the United States. Its mission is based on the feminist principles of economic cooperation and decision by consensus. Since its inception A.I.R. has continued “to offer an alternative venue for women that protects the creative process and the individual voice of the artist.”

Founded in 1972, A.I.R. offers women artists a space to show work “as innovative, transitory and free of market trends as the artists’ conceptions demands.”

In 1993, the A.I.R. Gallery established the Fellowship Program for underrepresented or emerging artists. The A.I.R. program includes mentoring and professional development for six artists over a 12-month period in preparation for a solo show at A.I.R. Gallery.

All women artists not having a solo show in the last 10 years and residing in the greater New York metro area are eligible. The A.I.R. Fellowship includes a scheduled gallery exhibition, member artist liaison and an additional stipend.

To learn more about A.I.R., visit www.airgallery.org/.

The Haggus Society

haggus-society_w_copyright_t180Terri Lloyd (www.terrilloyd.net) is an artist who has been acutely aware that that many creative women older than 40 are under-served in the arts and society at large. To combat this she co-founded The Haggus Society with artist Monica Marsh (www.monicamarsh.com) in 2010.

Lloyd explains, “We couldn’t find support for women like us — multifaceted older women who play hard and work hard; women who are activists, thinkers, risk takers … We knew if we didn’t make it happen, it wouldn’t come into existence.”

The Haggus Society is “A comprehensively supportive feminist art collective for women over the age of 40, who share a global vision of empowering Woman’s position in the arts and society.”

The organization achieves this through the support of cultural acts and practices, such as literature, poetry, performance art, music, visual art and direct action. The organization also strives to redefine the conventional terminology of emerging, mid-career and late-career artist as classifications and barriers to accessing support.

The Haggus Society invites women from three areas of practice; fine art, fine craft and folk art.

Providing opportunities for older female artists, The Haggus Society has a philosophy of making membership easy for any woman, of any economic status, with whom the Haggus Society mission and vision resonates.

To learn more about The Haggus Society, visit thehaggussociety.org.

Catharine Lorillard Wolfe Art Club

Every October The Catharine Lorillard Wolfe Art Club holds the Annual Open Juried Exhibition. This major event provides opportunities for members and non-members alike to show their work in New York City, world’s art capital. More than $8,000 in awards are given each year. The exhibition is held at the prestigious National Arts Club, which is located at 15 Gramercy Park South, New York, N.Y.

In keeping with the interests of its founder, Ms. Wolfe, the Preview Reception for the Annual Exhibition benefits a travel fund to help support curators of The Metropolitan Museum of Art as they research art collections across the country.

A museum curator also serves on the Jury of Awards for the Annual Exhibition and gives a talk at both the Preview Reception and the Awards Dinner.

After three acceptances into the Annual Open Juried Exhibition women artists may apply to the Membership Committee for consideration as a full artist member. In addition to the Full Artist category, these memberships are also available: Associate; Benefactor; Donor and Patron.

To learn more about CLWAC, visit clwac.org.

Professional Women Photographers

Professional Women Photographers (PWP) welcomes any woman photographer interested in connecting to other photographers to share information, ideas and experiences in an informal and professional atmosphere.

PWP members range from photojournalists to fine art photographers, and from seasoned professionals to newly emerging artists.

PWP offers a discounted “Under 30” Membership and Student Exhibition Committee to show its support and encouragement for young photographers.

PWP sponsors several calls for entry every year that help fulfill the organization’s mission of advancing women in photography. There are member-only calls, as well as international calls that are also open to the general public.

Each year PWPʼs Community Outreach Program helps struggling New Yorkers by donating photography services to a nonprofit organization. It also provides mentoring and photography lessons to children and teens in need.

To learn more about PWP, visit pwponline.org.

Women’s Studio Workshop

Women’s Studio Workshop (WSW) is a visual arts organization located in Rosendale, N.Y, that provides residencies and internships to women artists at all stages of their careers. It was founded in 1974 during the feminist movement by four women artists: Ann Kalmbach, Tatana Kellner, Anita Wetzel and Barbara Leoff Burge.

The Mission of the Women’s Studio Workshop is “to operate and maintain an artists’ workspace that encourages the voice and vision of individual women artists, to provide professional opportunities and employment to artists at all stages of their careers, and to promote programs designed to stimulate public involvement, awareness and support for the visual arts.”

WSW offers six Residency Grants.

For more information about WSW, visit wsworkshop.org.


Renée Phillips, The Artrepreneur Coach, is the author of several books and publications, which can be found on Manhattan Arts International. She has juried more than 60 exhibitions, including an annual “Celebrate The Healing Power of Art” online exhibition. She invites you to visit her blog and also follow her on Twitter, and join her on Facebook and LinkedIn.