Organizations that serve women artists are acutely aware of the gender inequalities that exist in the art world and work tirelessly to advance the status of women in the arts. In honor of Women’s History Month, this article offers a brief introduction to three of those many outstanding arts organizations in the United States — the National Association of Women Artists, ArtTable, and Woman Made Gallery. Please visit their websites to learn more about them.
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The National Association of Women Artists (NAWA)
Established in 1889, N.A.W.A. is the oldest women’s fine-art organization in the United States. This vibrant community of women artists is determined to have women achieve a stronger presence in the art world. It supports its members and women artists at large through exhibitions, programs and education.
In 2014 the organization celebrated its 125th Anniversary with monthly exhibitions at the N.A.W.A. gallery, located at 80 Fifth Avenue, New York, and eight regional shows. The theme for its 125th year was “N.A.W.A. – Women of Vision.”
N.A.W.A. has more than 800 members that represent all areas of the visual arts including painting, sculpture, photography, print-making, encaustic, video art, installations and mixed media. It offers membership to professional women artists, emerging artists and student artists.
ArtTable was founded by a group of professional women in the visual arts in 1980. It is the leading national nonprofit organization dedicated to advancing women’s professional leadership in the visual arts. The organization, which offers opportunities for women at all stages of their careers, has a professional network of 1,200 women throughout the country.
ArtTable hosts over 150 programs annually that include: “Special access to VIP exhibitions, previews, art fairs and collections; exclusive networking opportunities with colleagues and leaders in the field; panel discussions and topic dinners on pressing issues in the artworld; and professional development workshops.”
To qualify for membership women must have a minimum of five years’ experience in the field, and exemplify “leadership in the management, business, administration, promotion, interpretation, scholarship, and stewardship of the visual arts.”
Woman Made Gallery (WMG)
Woman Made Gallery, located at 685 North Milwaukee Ave., Chicago, was founded in 1992 and serves as, “a vehicle to achieve artistic and economic equality for women in the arts.” Since its inception, the vision of WMG has been, “to ensure the equal placement of women’s art in the world.” It achieves its goals by supporting, encouraging and promoting the diverse contributions of women visual artists, performing artists and writers. Its many outstanding programs include exhibitions, educational programs and community outreach.
WMG presents ongoing exhibitions on a variety of themes. From 1992 through 2014, it presented 378 exhibitions and exhibited the art of more than 7,500 women artists.
The organization offers three different membership levels. On its website you will find a wealth of information including a comprehensive list of women’s arts organizations.
Renée Phillips, The Artrepreneur Coach, helps artists attain their highest potential. She offers a free email newsletter on renee-phillips.com. As founder/director of Manhattan Arts International, manhattanarts.com, she rewards artistic excellence through curated art programs. To commemorate its 10th “The Healing Power of Art” exhibition Manhattan Arts International recently launched The Healing Power of Art website.