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"Fr. Bruce Reconsiders the Seven Deadly Sins", digital photographs, 2002
"Fr. Bruce Reconsiders the Seven Deadly Sins", digital photographs, 2002
C.M. Judge
   
CMWCA founders, C. M. Judge & Joanne Boudreau
 A B O U T   U S
CMWCA founders, C. M. Judge & Joanne Boudreau

My introduction to the Women's Caucus for Art was in New Hampshire at the request of my good friend, photographer Elsa Voelcker. Elsa invited me to attend a NH chapter meeting. I was struck by the intensity of the group, by their passion for art and their commitment to professionalism. Eventually, I volunteered to edit the newsletter and found myself serving on the Board. The following winter, I decided to travel to L.A. for the National WCA conference with the help of a professional development grant from the New Hampshire State Council on the Arts. It was an extraordinary experience meeting artists from throughout the U.S. who shared their excitement for WCA and the opportunities it had provided for the artists in their region. At the Chapters Council meeting, I delivered a brief report on the activities of the relatively new NH chapter. Shortly after, I was approached to consider a position on the National Board as a chapter representative. I agreed and was elected.

I had been living in Fitchburg during this time and had joined the Boston chapter while maintaining my NH membership. Each chapter offered wonderful opportunities to show my work, attend workshops and conferences and network with other artists. At that time Janet Luongo of Connecticut was the Vice President of the Northeast Region. I was privileged to get to know her. Under Janet's direction, I served as the registrar for the Initiatives 2000 National Conference in New York City. The conference was a smashing success thanks to many great volunteers but especially to the vision, talent and foresight of Janet who virtually single-handedly wove together the conference innards.
For a short time, I served as Co-V.P. of the Northeast Region with Dianne Bohnert of Connecticut under Maggi Amma's presidency. During this time I learned a lot about the structure and history of WCA . I stepped down from my position as VP when I learned that I would be giving birth at the end of the year. I'll never forget the kind, gentle and encouraging conversation I had with Magi about my decision.

Although it made sense for me to step down from my national duties, it became very clear to me that Central Massachusetts was in need of a WCA chapter. With the blessings of the Boston chapter, I decided that starting a chapter in my home area was something I could tackle while being a new mother. I also knew that I couldn't do it alone; that in order for this to happen, I would need a strong ally.

Joanne Boudreau and I met at the Fitchburg Art Museum while I was teaching a pastel and drawing class. Joanne's talent abounded and I really enjoyed her down-to-earth personality and dry sense of humor. I thought we'd make a great team. I ran the idea by her - would she be interested in founding a new chapter of the WCA with me? To my delight she said she'd be interested in learning more. A few months (and bit of research) later we were ready to invite women from the region to an informational meeting.

The Fitchburg Art Museum graciously allowed us to meet in their gallery space in November of 2001. We invited close to 200 women artists. Sixty replied saying they were interested with 30 of those indicating they would attend the meeting. Much to our delight most of those attending brought slides to show during the slide share - an amazing array of quality work. When asked who might be willing to serve on the founding Board of Directors, Joanne and I were overwhelmed by the positive response. We filled the entire Board that day! Here are the courageous artists who brought the CMWCA into being:

C. M. Judge, President
Joanne Boudreau, Vice President
Geralyn Miller, Treasurer
Patricia Kamlin, Secretary/Historian
Pat Bock, Membership Coordinator
Heidi d'Entremont, Exhibitions Coordinator
Carol Santora, Newsletter Editor
Ellen Piner, Publicity

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