Creative Women in Dialogue

by AVENUE insider Photographed by Jenny Gorman
Wednesday, August 30, 2017
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Over 150 artists and collectors gathered at LongHouse Reserve in East Hampton on Saturday for the second installment of “Women Artists: Reshaping the Conversation,” a stimulating conversation series about women in the arts. Near sculptor Toni Ross‘s installation Sanctuary Entwined, moderator Andrea Grover of Guild Hall, led a lively and wide-ranging discussion featuring some of the most accomplished living female artists. The discussion was a stirring tribute to creative women and their insatiable need to make art. “For all the women on this panel this is not a career, this is an avocation,” said art historian Barbara Rose. “None of us have a choice… I ask my students to raise their hands if you can do anything else.  The ones who respond I tell them, ‘go do it!’”

It was a thread picked up by some of the other participants on Saturday. “The strongest act of defiance can just be turning out every day. That’s a way you can achieve,” said Parrish Art Museum director Terrie Sultan. “Turn a crisis into an opportunity. That’s been a continuing source of strength for me.” Michelle Stuart added, “Curiosity is what drives us. I wonder about the relationship between patterns. That gives me a great deal of pleasure. To own them by drawing them and converting them to another mystery.” Other speakers, including Dianne Benson and Alice Aycock echoed these sentiments.

The “Women Artists” series was conceived by artist Toni Ross in tribute to her mentor, Elaine de Kooning. The next installment, on September 23, will feature artists Bastienne Schmidt, Zina Saro-Wiwa and Almond Zigmund in a conversation moderated by Pernilla Holmes.


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