BEACON - March is officially designated National Women’s History Month. It’s a time when the nation honors and gives recognition to the role of women as an important force in American history: in transforming culture, history and politics, and as leaders, writers, scientists, educators, historians, artists, and so much more.
In a country well over 235 years old, it was just ninety-four years ago that women won the right to vote.
Women struggled for generations seeking equality in all fields of endeavor. The arts were no exception as women artists continued to be rejected by the male dominated art world. Facing such rejection, many women artists resorted to using a male "nom de plume" in order to have their work accepted.
This dilemma inspired a group of five women to organize an organization in 1889 which would promote high standards for women artists and provide them with the opportunity to exhibit their work. The National Association of Women Artists is now 125 years old with a membership of over 1000 artists. The success of the Association is evident in the numerous women artists being shown in galleries and museums across this country and around the world.
The Howland Cultural Center in Beacon has once again organized a tribute for Women’s History Month. In this year’s annual celebration, twenty local women were invited to participate in Women Artists of Beacon. They include: Carol Barnstead, Stephanie Fogarty, Anne C. Forman, Mary Ann Glass, Charlotte Guernsey, Meredith Heuer, Gwenno James, Insun Kim, Helen Lang, Maria Largo, Jill Losee, Basha Maryanska, Michelle May, Charlene Moore, Janet Ruhe-Schoen, Tinya Seeger, Robyn Tauss, Susan Richter Todd, Kate Vikstrom, and Jane Warner.
The artists offer a variety of artwork featuring paintings, sculpture, ceramics, photography, fabric art, and print-making. It is the outstanding quality of Beacon artists, which has contributed significantly to the spiraling reputation of Beacon as a mecca for the arts in the Hudson Valley.
The exhibition, which opened last Saturday, will show through Sunday, March 30. The gallery hours are from 1 – 5 pm every Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Exceptions to the schedule take place on Sunday, March 16 and 30 as the art gallery is closed to the general public when the Howland Chamber Music Circle presents concerts at 4 pm.
The Howland Cultural Center is located at the east end of Main Street, in Beacon.