Sunday, June 14, 2009
Monday, April 27, 2009
Each year, SBH pays tribute to a distinguished woman who has made an outstanding contribution in breaking barriers and setting new precedents for women. This year’s prestigious Alice Award, named after Alice Paul, founder of the National Woman’s Party, will be presented to Secretary Clinton for putting “eighteen million cracks” in the glass ceiling. Under her leadership as First Lady, the Sewall-Belmont House, along with the Declaration of Independence, the U.S. Constitution and the Star Spangled Banner, was one of the four nationally significant preservation projects named by Congress in the legislation that established the “Save America’s Treasures” program.
The Sewall-Belmont House and Museum celebrates women’s progress toward equality and their continuing contributions to our society. Through educational programs, tours, exhibits, research and publications, the museum is committed to preserving the legacy of the historical National Woman’s Party – the campaign for women’s equal rights – and bringing the history to life for future generations.
Making HerStory is proud to be a part of the spirit of celebrating womanhood and all the strides that women are making in all aspects of life. HerStory is committed to celebrating women in all genres of art and works to provide encouragement for women to find their creative niche.
Tuesday, April 21, 2009
"I am a retired Women's Studies professor, a Founder and the Executive Director of the Girls Gotta Run Foundation (http://www.girlsgottarun.org), and an artist (http://www.patriciaeortman.com), not necessarily in that order. There is no order, really, because all of my work informs all of my work. And, it is all prayer. My life is a prayer.
Most of my commissioned art consists of portraits (of people, places, pets) and murals that I develop in close consultation with clients. Murals come either entirely from my imagination or make use of pre-existing images which I alter as artistic needs require. I also paint abstract watercolor prayers and blessings for people or causes I want to support based on my thoughts and feelings about them. I individualize guardian angel collages for the people they are meant to protect. I also paint feminist spiritual icons, as well as flowers, still lifes, and whatever else I am moved to paint...that generally means anything that is beautiful to me. I know it is not hip in the official art world these days, but my feeling is:
'....if eyes were made for seeing, Then Beauty is its own excuse for being.' —from "The Rhodora" by Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)"
Thursday, April 9, 2009
"My intent is to create a piece that represents gesture and resembles a particular emotion, feeling, or situation. The underlying form is the descriptor. The composition of the piece, the materials used, marks made, and position of the figure are the clues to the thought behind the piece. The figures are drawn simply, and masked with multiple lines that cross the surface of the canvas. These lines separate the figure, adding movement, and room for improvisation from the viewer. Though the figures themselves are not detailed, the addition of the lines creates some chaos. The areas created from the lines are painted in with various colors, shades, and textures, giving the piece a puzzle-type look. This work for me is intriguing. First to see if the viewer can see what I have intended them to see. Second, to see what new ideas, feelings and generalizations the viewer has created. My intent is not to be literal, add some mystery, and create work that is more than an object."
Tuesday, April 7, 2009
"Through a masterful use of color and shape Marina Reiter's paintings exhibit a visual playfulness. In them, soft colorful shapes drift together in space, often intersecting and interacting to create new colors. Although Reiter considers herself to be an abstract artist, at closer glance, her paintings transcend beyond the basics of abstraction or surrealism. With their unique curves, each form has a distinct, almost joyful personality — an oddly human trait for shapes painted in oil. Each painting is an exploration of relationships, and she often derives inspiration from personal connections. According to Reiter, "An artist’s friends, family, people we loved, emotions we feel, hopes and aspirations that we have [live in these paintings]." As a result, Reiter describes her forms as "souls" that crave interaction, as each shape stretches across the canvas, pensively reaching out in search of connectedness— with both joyful and melancholic results.
Born in Moscow , Marina Reiter's work has been exhibited worldwide. She currently resides in Washington , D.C. , where she is a member artist at several galleries and organizations. "
Monday, March 30, 2009
Sometimes recovery is one day at a time, like this piece is one letter at a time. Hours spent finding letters, cutting them out, pasting them on would not let me forget Louisa May Alcott’s words 'I am not afraid of storms for I am learning to sail my ship.' "
Meet the Artist: Nora Stinley, in her own words...
"It’s true; women are beautiful. But if you look more closely, you’ll find we are more than that. We are heads of state, masters of art, Nobel Laureates, musical geniuses, activists, scientists, Pulitzer Prize winners. We are also mothers, daughters, sisters, and friends. We are grace and grit, elegance and intelligence. Yes it’s true; women are beautiful. "
Nora Stinley received her training in fine art and art therapy at The George Washington University and continues to live and work in the Washington, DC area. Using a broad scope of media, Nora has exhibited in many venues across the city and strives to convey empowerment and action through her pieces. Nora feels that art is a witness and a testament to the human experience, and truly believes in the power of creation.
Tuesday, March 24, 2009
In her latest works she has been applying the collage technique in which she uses mixed media (pencil, oil and acrylic paint combined with handmade materials, raw papers, digital photographs, stones, wood, glass, sea-shells, and more). She believes art, in any form, has the power to create a positive change and thus founded the Arts for Global Development, Inc. (www.art4development.net) –an international, educational, volunteer based 501(c)3 initiative that facilitates the creative sector and the stakeholders of development to empower socially and economically disadvantaged individuals and communities worldwide, particularly children, youth, and women."
Friday, March 20, 2009
Thursday, March 12, 2009
"In earlier years, I created very realistic, picture perfect floral designs using color pencil, pen and ink and acrylic paint. I used strong, pure colors, collected African Masks and was attracted to the flavor and cultural richness of Louisiana and that of Mardi Gras.
Though I enjoy creating in textiles using a variety of fabrics of varying textures that lead the eye throughout the composition, the use of pen and ink creates a strong black and white composition. Whether creating in textiles or in paint, my colors are bright and play off of each other to form an exciting dimensional quality and individual mood."
Elnora, the youngest of seven children, has been a Prince George’s County resident since the age of 10 having relocated from South Carolina with her family. She graduated Cum Laude with a Bachelors of Science degree in art education from Bowie State University and completed additional post graduate course work at the Corcoran School of Art in Washington, DC.
Elnora’s abstract constructivism style of rich textural compositions carries over into her mixed media framed art where she incorporates bold colorful fabrics, leather, oil pastels, water color, and occasionally pen and ink. The use of a variety of fabrics of varying textures, lead the eye through the composition and at the same time, give each piece a relief quality and a three dimensional effect. Her work has been exhibited in various office buildings, and solo and group exhibitions throughout the Washington metropolitan area. Her work is also in the private collection of Bowie State University.
Elnora's professional memberships and volunteer services include: Maryland Federation of Artists, Hyattsville Artist Association, Prince George’s Artist Association, Montpelier Arts Center, Black Artists of D.C, Strathmore Music and Arts Center, and Women’s Caucus for Art.
Meet the Artist: Sherill Anne Gross, in her own words...
"My artwork is made only with paper, glue, and patience.
Every part of my art is made only using cut paper; even the signature. The non-straight lines and imperfect circles that are created are layered upon each other to reveal a final realistic image. All of the work is done by hand - no stencils are used.
Each work provides a new puzzle that needs to be solved. Although my repertoire of techniques has grown considerably over the years, I still try to approach each work with a new method of working the paper to see how this will add to the finished art. In 2007 I committed myself to completing a new work every weekday. The resulting one-a-(week) day project saw the creation of 209 new works. Working on such a fixed schedule forced me to develop new ways of approaching subject, technique, and the paper itself. I completed that year having learnt a lot about my work and myself. My artwork is what happens when you run with scissors.
I graduated with a BFA in Studio Art from Florida State University. After graduation I immediately moved to the Washington DC metro area. I spent several years exploring different methods of digital art combined with collage and monoprints. After experimenting with cut paper I found this was my medium.
In the past several years I have had several solo exhibitions both in and outside of the region as well as participating in many group shows. I belong to several local and national arts organizations, including serving as Vice President of the Laurel Art Guild."
Meet the artist Susan Feller....
Susan Feller graduated from the University of Maryland with a BA in Studio Art. A former fiber artist, Feller turned to paper and paints. While immersing herself in the intricacies of papermaking, print, silk screening, and letterpress, she also discovered the peripheral pleasures of digital arts, and has done much work with the computer, finding ways to combine digital imagery with other art mediums, such as encaustics, or painting with wax.
Feller's work has been displayed at the Ratner Museum in Maryland, in national juried shows, and at the Torpedo Factory in Virginia. 2009 marks her first appearance in Making Herstory.
Wednesday, March 11, 2009
"I depict people living throughout the African Diaspora, and beyond, by using color, texture, and introspection. Since acceptable images of human concepts such as love and beauty are perpetuated through art, literature, music, and the media, my pieces echo the attempt made by people of color to redefine and re-present those concepts in their terms."
Born in Florida and raised in Washington, DC since infancy, Prudence inherited the “creative gene”. Throughout childhood and adolescence, Prudence expressed several methods of creativity including sewing dolls’ clothes and writing poems and short stories to relate to her drawings. As a teenager, she attended the Corcoran School of Art for figure drawing and photography & film development. She began painting consistently in 2001 and in April 2003 participated in the Smithsonian Early Enrichment Center’s 10th Annual Scholarship Fund benefit auction. Prudence donated “Girl Tantalus”, an original work of acrylic on canvas portraying the fabled origins of the word tantalize.
Wednesday, March 4, 2009
"I am adept at mixing left-and right-brain pursuits, splitting my time between computer screen and canvas. Experimenting with conscious and unconscious painting process raised questions in my mind about self reflective nature of reality. As an engineer, I try to find a model for any complex system for controlling system variables in a logical way. During the intuitive painting process, I learned that modeling and controlling have not been successful for my style of painting, as my best paintings are created when I allowed my hands and my mind to flow freely. I have been wondering if programmed thinking and focus on control prevents one from reaching their soul. I hope that my work touches your mind, heart and soul."
When Nihal Kececi was 13, her first art exhibition made her a local celebrity in her small town in Turkey. Though she attended one year of visual art school, she also felt a pull toward the sciences, and against her parents’ wishes, decided to pursue a degree in physics. After receiving a bachelor’s degree in physics and a master’s degree in Nuclear Engineering, Nihal began her professional life as a design engineer in Turkey.
An opportunity to work as a research associate at the University of Maryland brought Nihal and her ten-year-old daughter to the United States in 1997. They then moved to Canada when Nihal was offered a position at the University of Montreal—Quebec. From 1997-2004 she worked as a software analyst in USA and Canada. Though she frequently visited art galleries, Nihal did not begin drawing again until 2001, after a 27-year hiatus. From 2001-2004, she spent her time equally between technical projects and painting. A turning point for the artist came in 2003 when a professor who purchased four of her paintings told her, “Nihal, there are many engineers, but not artists. Your contribution to society as an artist will be greater than as an engineer.” Since 2004, Nihal has been painting full time, working in pastel, oil and acrylic.
"I started to paint. My season of artistic creativity took hold of me by surprise, so I started to paint. Without anyone's permission, I started to paint.
M. Gasby Brown has been the New York Correspondent for BET, Financial Reporter for Fox Television’s WNYW in New York, host of WNYC-TV’s “Black Viewpoint” and host of “Starz Talk!," a syndicated radio show distributed to 250 stations across the country. Later she had a successful career as an executive in New York and Washington D.C. In July of 2002 she began to paint. 'For several months, I had a recurring dream about painting trees and other objects. Even when I was awake, the images of painting were vivid and continued to haunt me' Gasby recalls. She made the courageous decision to align the vision with reality and started her painting journey. Her first painting was, indeed, a tree.
Self–taught and inspired by visions, dreams, reality and ideas, Gasby has become a prolific, in-demand artist, capturing a variety of genres including abstract, realism and expressionism extracted from her life experiences and world view. Gasby draws particular inspiration from art greats William Tolliver, Annie Lee, Jacob Lawrence and other greats but has established her own signature painting style with the mixed media works of her 'Praise' and 'Celebration' series. "
Who is Mariska Breland?
"I have always been drawn to art, and as a child, it took up nearly all of my time. But, with a creative profession to occupy my right brain, the paints were put high on the shelf where they stayed for over 15 years. A visit to the Art Institute of Chicago, a little free time, and a chance meeting with a wonderful artist got me interested in making art again.
I say now I paint because it’s my meditation, and in the end, there is something to show other than a calm mind (which is a wonderful by-product of the process). I am drawn to images of solitude and reflection, and sometimes loneliness and loss. My art is contemplative, and there is always a fair amount of my soul in it – my mood works its way in with the paints. The works are my mirror – showing the world the place I was spiritually and emotionally at the time when I painted them. I am currently exploring abstract portraiture, which draws from my background in graphite realistic portraits and leans towards my hoped-for future in perfecting the abstract human form."
Tuesday, March 3, 2009
The sense that if I didn’t write it down, I would dissipate in particles of radiance. In the second grade, I wrote a poem that made my classmates cry. In a good way. Then, in the eighth grade, my English teacher had us read the great poets: Keats, Shelly, Tennyson, and various other dead white guys. I found myself holding my breath a lot. Or weeping. In a good way. Then, I wrote a poem that found a home in the school newspaper, then more in my high school literary magazine, then more in my college and graduate school publications then more in serious literary journals and I thought, hey, I can do this. Maybe it’s just ego: seeing my name in print is a very good thing.
What subjects inspire you the most?
What impact do you want your writing to have on the world?
Do you remember the first poem you wrote? What was it about? How old were you?
Planes zoom overhead
and all in DaNang lie dead.
The silent bomb falls."
This was followed by a rather emotional recitation of a favorite Keats poem, the first two lines of which are, “When I have fears that I might cease to be/ before my pen has glean’d my teeming brain…”
They weren’t accustomed to seeing a poet in the eighth grade back then. It was as if I were a science experiment about to erupt. It was either keep writing or let them give me a straitjacket.
If you could sum up the theme "feminine reflection" in ten words, what would you say?
Ten words? Not possible for a poet. If you’ll indulge me…
"What does it mean to be a woman? What does it mean to be a woman in this world of war, of famine, of poverty, of testosterone-poisoned views of femininity? What does it mean to create our spiritual selves given the hostilities we face? How do we define and enjoy our sexual selves? How do we make our art and our safe havens in and from which we love and wage life? How do we accommodate the needs of those we love without losing ourselves? These are the questions that interest me now."
Pia will perform at the opening event on March 5 at the Sewall-Belmont House & Museum. Pia currently resides in Fredericksburg, VA where she a member of Beth Sholom Temple. Pia's last words, "I have fallen in and out of love. Guilty."
HerStory interviewed Maat about her work and here is what she had to say:
Do you recall the first poem you ever wrote? How old were you? What was it about?
The first poem I ever wrote was for the Dogwood Tree outside my window where I grew up on 2nd Place in NW. I can still conjure the aroma of its flowers. I was in elementary school about 7 years old. I remember writing about the scent feeling like home, spring time bbq's in the back yard, and colorful birds on my windowsill eating the berries. I was a nature lover even back then, but aren't most children.
What impact do you want your creativity to have on the world?
The impact I want my creativity to have on the world is to inspire more creativity. To give people a view and a path out of the box that they think surrounds them.
When did you branch into visual art? What inspired you to branch out that way?
I started making collage at a young age and water painting with my momma. The same thing I do with my son. I've always been a visual artist but I've never shared that part of myself with anyone outside of my family. My collection has grown over the years from taking design and painting classes here and there. I think I'm ready and confident now to have it displayed. If I can face motherhood, I can face eyes ogling my paintings.
I know the spoken word is meaningful to you. When you approach a mic, what are you thinking?
Spoken word has given me a way to come out of myself and be myself at the same time. I found out that I really love the stage and that anything having to do with performance, I want to be involved in. When I approach the mic I'm always chanting. Never the same chant but always something beautiful like Om Bur Bhuvas Suvaha, The Gayatri Mantra or Aum Gan Ganapataya Namah, Ganesha's Mantra. It keeps me high, balanced, and focused on what I'm about to present.
If you could sum up the theme "feminine reflection" in ten words, what would they be?
Feminine Reflection: 10 words...hmmm + 1 for good karma...
"We will find self in time/Light flooding the cave/arriving"
Dehejia Maat is a poet, actress, yogi, and painter...a deep rooted original Earth woman who greets the dawn chanting while doing Surya Namaskar. She is the theater director for the Dragon Box Theater in Washington, DC and the hostess for the Innneractive Jam Session--a weekly event for artist to transcend the norm at the Artmosphere Cafe' in Mt. Rainier, MD. She has graced many stages from the Kennedy Center to local clubs on Historic U street and has rocked mics from Japan to Toronto. She is the Co-Creator of No Goddess Left Behind Writers Workshop and is a Yoga teacher for Mayor Fenty’s Step Up to Health program. Her current projects are "The Joy of Billie Holiday", an original one woman show and "The Yes that Leads to Infinity," her second book poetry.
Monday, March 2, 2009
Thursday, February 26, 2009
Jennifer is an artist and art curator, as well as a psychotherapist and educator. She is the author/illustrator of the book "Songs of Creation: Meditations on the Sacred Hebrew Alphabet," an awesome publication highlighting the beauty of her work, but also educating its readers about the Hebrew Language.
Prismacolor pencil on black paper. She also has worked in collage,
watercolor, sculpture, assemblage, and mixed media.
after-school program of free, professionally taught art classes for
at-risk youth in Washington, DC. She has taught a variety of art classes
for children and adults and is currently facilitating a monthly seminar
on "Artmaking as a Spiritual Practice." She has been curating "The
Evolution of Art" series--which highlights the work of emerging local
arts--at Beanetics Coffee Roasters in Annandale, Virginia, since December 2007.
Tuesday, February 24, 2009
Author and Fine Art Photographer, Robin McDougal, to Headline H4's Opening at Peace & a Cup of Joe on March 14, 2009
Friday, February 20, 2009
An award winning journalist, Shawn anchors FOX 5 News (WTTG) at 5 and 10pm. When she's not telling other people's stories on the news, she's telling her own stories through her art. Her mixed media and abstract originals are vibrant in style and color as well as intricate in detail and technique. "I love painting on canvas, wood, steel; you name it and I'll paint it. I find beauty in almost everything around me. Life and its many colors inspire my moods and my mind to create," says Shawn.
Monday, February 16, 2009
Friday, February 13, 2009
The Making HerStory art series presents "Making HerStory 4: Feminine Reflection," the 4th annual celebration of women in the arts.
Making HerStory was created initially as a way to celebrate Women's History Month and honor art at the same time. We quickly learned that there was a void to be filled in the celebration of women in art--especially those women who were lesser known.
With a little re-direction, the focus of HerStory is to build upon the collective creativity that we share as women artist in all genres and to provide a stage for the voices of those women artists to be heard.
Annually, we come together to celebrate one another in sisterhood and art and to support those who also value our collaborative contribution. HerStory's annual exhbition and programming hopes to create and develop a historical fabric for women in art and create a base from which we can write our history ourselves.