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About us

About us

American Women Artists is dedicated to the inspiration, celebration, and encouragement of women in the visual fine Arts.

Who We Are and What We Do

Since its inception, American Women Artists has worked diligently to bring women artists to the attention of the art world through museum shows, juried competitions in leading galleries around the country, festivals, symposiums, workshops and an international exchange. Our goal is to increase the number of professional opportunities for women in the visual fine arts by creating the kinds of opportunities that lead to greater inclusion.

American Women Artists serves members throughout the United States along with a growing contingent of artists from Canada. AWA is an independent, tax-exempt nonprofit organization that celebrated its inaugral exhibit in 1990 at the Tucson Museum of Art and incorporated as a 501c3 in the state of New Mexico in 1998.

A Brief History

AWA's inaugural exhibit was in 1990 at the Tucson Museum of Art, and continues through today with annual shows held in prestigious galleries and museums throughout the United States and abroad. The annual exhibition schedule is punctuated with keynote events like the Women's Festival of the Arts held for two consecutive years in Santa Fe, the cultural-exchange exhibition in Italy in the year 2000, and workshops taught by Master and Signature members at such prestigious art schools such as the Scottsdale Artists School.

AWA's first juried competition was held in 1997-1998, awards of sponsored workshops, art materials and supplies and cash awards were presented to 15 artists, in encouragement of their art careers. The tradition of holding an annual National Juried Competion, with the finalists exhibiting alongside Master and Signature members in AWA's Annual Member show, is now a long-standing one, speaking to AWA's dedicated mission to create professional opportunities to women artists in museums and galleries across the country.

Board of Directors

AWA is governed by an all-volunteer executive board consisting of a President, Vice President, Secretary/Treasurer and board members. The group convenes in person at least once a year, while conducting additional meetings via Skype. The 2014-2015 board members hail from New York to California and include:

  • Kathrine Lemke Waste, Sacramento, California, President
  • Ann Larsen, Edinburg, New York, Vice President
  • Paula Holtzclaw, Waxhaw, North Carolina, Secretary
  • Ann Self, Hutchinson, Kansas, Treasurer
  • Earline Burke, Centerville, Georgia
  • Aleta Carpenter, Redding, California
  • Robin Knowlton, Lodi, California
  • Leah Lopez, New York, New York
  • Diane Mason, Berthoud, Colorado
  • Laurie Stevens, Cascade, Montana

Exhibition History

  • 1990-1994 Tucson, AZ - Tucson Museum of Art
  • 1996 Jackson, WY - National Museum of Wildlife Art
  • 1996 Bennington, VT - Bennington Center for the Arts
  • 1997-1998 Scottsdale, AZ - Trailside Gallery (first juried competition)
  • 1999 Taos, NM - Total Arts Gallery
  • 2000 Santa Fe, NM - Nedra Matteucci Fine Art Gallery & Contemporary Southwest Gallery
  • 2000 Sorrento, Italy, The Cloisters
  • 2001 Santa Fe, NM Festival of Women in the Arts (over 40 participating galleries)
  • 2003 Santa Fe, NM - McLarry Fine Art
  • 2004 Santa Fe, NM - McLarry Fine Art & Meyer Gallery
  • 2005 Dallas, TX - Texas Art Gallery
  • 2007 Scottsdale, AZ - LeKAE Gallery
  • 2008 Pasadena, CA - Galerie Gabrie
  • 2009 Easton, MD - South Street Art Gallery
  • 2010 Dallas, TX - Southwest Art Gallery
  • 2011 Atlanta, GA - Huff Harrington Fine Arts
  • 2012 Tucson, AZ - K. Newby Gallery and Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum
  • 2013 Fredericksburg, TX - RS Hanna Gallery
  • 2014 Orleans, MA - Addison Art Gallery
  • 2014 Cartersville, GA - Booth Western Art Museum
  • 2015 Scottsdale, AZ - Bonner David Galleries

AWA PastPresidents

Past Presidents of American Women Artists
From left to right: Linda Glover Gooch, Nancy Boren, Star York, Carol Swinney, Bethanne Kinsella Cople and Donna Howell-Sickles
Photo by Jack Kulawik


Established in 1990, in Santa Fe, New Mexico, American Women Artists was incorporated as a 501(c)(3) educational nonprofit organization in 1998 by founding members and distinguished artists Star York, Joan Potter and Sherrie McGraw. AWA guest artists over the years have included a number of luminaries in the art world... like Judy Chicago, whose groundbreaking installation, The Dinner Party, is on permanent exhibition at the Brooklyn Museum and Henriette Wyeth, an important 20th century painter from a distinguished American family of artists.