||There was an unmistakable buzz in the air. This
exhibit was going to be special. In addition to our Central
Massachusetts chapter, entries had come from Boston, Washington,
D.C., Northern California, New York, New Hampshire, Connecticut
and Georgia. The gallery space at Hampshire College's Harold
Johnson Library in Amherst, Massachusetts was spectacular, with
its high ceilings, soaring white walls, and gray carpets.
Carolyn Arnold, the juror and gallery director, selected
52 artworks from 103 that were submitted. Ms. Arnold stated
that she had "an inordinately good time looking at the
work and seeing the exhibit gradually take form."
Fifty guests at the September 11th reception were greeted
by a visual feast. Dramatic sculptures of bronze, marble and
ceramic stood on pedestals throughout the gallery. Encaustics,
photographs, monotypes, oils, acrylics, sepia ink paintings,
and watercolors graced the walls. Glass jewelry hung in cases.
Fabric art, as well as two 48" globes made with wood,
vine, wire and ribbon, floated in space. The depth, range,
quality and beauty of the work dazzled everyone at the reception,
which was generously hosted by Hampshire College. At 4:00,
a panel discussion offered further sustenance. C.M. Judge,
Felicia Menard, Laura Morrison, and Elsa Voelcker responded
to the topic, "Joining an Arts Organization, Expectations
and Reality." Key ideas discussed were:
- the challenge of keeping the energy level high, and the
work on projects distributed among members of the group;
- the need to reach out to a wide, diverse group and to
welcome new members;
- the planning of regular occasions to meet, pose questions,
share ideas, goals and artwork;
- the advantage of networking with other artists and appreciating
all there is to learn from others;
- the importance of securing venues to showcase artists'
- the benefits gained from getting involved through committee
and board membership.
The exhibit ran from September 1 through 29. Juror Carolyn
Arnold wrote, "I appreciate all the artists who submitted
work, and I commend the CMWCA for its ongoing commitment to
supporting and developing women artists at the grass-roots
level." From beginning to end, this was an exhibit of
which we could all be proud.
Article by Judith Ferrara
Photos by Patsy McCowan