Monday, November 9, 2015

The New Executive Mix and WOV Fills a Surprise Exhibition and more!

A while has past since we were last able to post, but WOV is clearly moving forward with great gusto and enthusiasm. We thought we'd take a break in our extremely busy schedule to give you some highlights. Just before Thankgiving, we held our biannual election. Our new officers for 2016-2018 are:

Tina Williams Brewer--President
Harriette Meriwether- Vice President
Mayota Hill--Secretary
Elizabeth Asche Douglas--Treasurer
Christine McCray Bethea--Financial Secretary
LaVerne Kemp--Past President

As luck would have it, five of these women, along with WOV members JoAnne Bates and Ruth Richardson, are also part of an important show, open to the public now through December 11, 2015--Exposure: Black Voices in the Arts. This showcase features work by over 50 famous, notable and emerging African American artists from he Pittsburgh area. The show is spearheaded by Pitt Instructor, Janet McCall, who is also the Director of the Society of Contemporary Craft. She teaches students at the University of Pittsburgh who seek to learn the inner workings of putting together an art exhibition from the ground up.The exhibit came as an impromptu "call for artists" from Ms. McCall's students, who researching art in the university archives, felt they needed to make a statement about the lack of black culture represented, not only at Pitt, but at art institutions and universities nationwide. Despite some opposition from noted colleagues who felt the show needed black leadership and should not be student initiated, Women of Visions and others were pleased at the chance for visibility at Pitt's Frick Art Building, and applauded the academic efforts of Ms. McCall and the students from her museum studies class. The opening reception held Monday, November 9th boasted 300+ guests.

"Excitement from the exhibit has been overwhelming," said Isabelle Chartier, Guest Curator for the Frick Fine Arts Building in Oakland, where the show is being held. " Because it was so well receieved, Pitt students are planning a catalog and we'll do an online PDF as well so even more people can view the show once it's taken down."

Charlotte Ka and her art from the Voices postcard
Part of Women of Visions' mission is to seek out opportunities of this kind and work with organizations to solicit the inclusion of African Americans in all levels of the city's art scene. We have also spent some time in-house reorganizing. This year, WOV projects have included:  Curating our first major exhibit at the Pittsburgh Center for the Arts in over 15 years--Storyteller: Truth Be Told; updating the guilds bylaws; priming for growth in our membership, and laying the foundation for events to celebrate our 35th anniversary in 2016...Stay tuned for more on that!

Frick Fine Arts Building, Oakland