Saturday, October 14, 2017

ART OF THE PROTEST - To See and To Be Heard

 works by WCAGA ART+ACTIVISM – Sept. 1-3, 2017 – Decatur, GA

By Flora Rosefsky   
Art of The Protest, the 3 day thought provoking art show held over Labor Day Weekend at the Sycamore Place Gallery & Studios in Decatur, put together by The Women’s Caucus of Art – Georgia Chapter (WCAGA) with its  growing ART+ACTIVISM core of artists, continues to resonate within the minds of those who created the ephemeral work as well as for those who attended the show.  One may ask, can art really change a mindset? Perhaps not reverse it per se, but highly message driven art definitely makes people  talk, discuss, and share their viewpoints with anyone who is willing to listen. Like any art show, each work has more than one interpretation, depending upon if one were hearing what the artist has to say in a conversation, or where the viewer’s experience and philosophy takes them to reflect, to figure out what the protest art means to them personally.  As stated in the show’s prospectus, all the work could be in any type of media, but had to use a piece of poster board, cardboard, foam core or other ephemeral materials.  The show was to “celebrate your first amendment right and let your voice be heard.”
Bouquets for Heather by Callahan McDonough

In some ways, the demographics of age plays a part in the sensibility one has for protest art. Artists like Callahan McDonough, who was and still is a big voice in the Feminist Movement which began in earnest in the 1970s with the likes of Gloria Steinham, Bella Abzug and others brings an activist core to her work. In McDonough’s “ Bouquets for Heather”,  those who saw this oversize work were able to touch the fresh bouquets of flowers, saw the lit candles that memorialized the life of Heather Heyer ,killed in Charlottesville 2017.  Unlike the 1970s, it was the conservative post WWII 1950s and optimistic  early 1960s that defined my young adult life. Busy raising young children, yet surrounded by news of  the JFK, MLK Jr., and RFK assassinations, Vietnam War opposition marches, flower children defying anything traditional -  that world of protest escaped me. Today – a protective cocoon has broken apart – where I no longer can ignore the political landscape, or I simply ask, “what legacy am I , and we as a country, leaving the next generation? ” WCAGA Art+Activism has become a conduit to express ways that I, and other artists, can raise consciousness on issues that can no longer be ignored – inclusive human rights to name just one.  
It took me several weeks to come up with which of many topics I had in mind for my protest art. I wanted it to be somewhat optimistic, more of a hope than regurgitating something disdainful and miserable. I found a quote online when I was searching for words supporting acceptance of others, crossing religious or gender lines. “There is one race…the human race.” That quote sometimes attributed to educator Thomas Dewey or other times, Ghandi - became the basis for my work, on a flattened  painted “priority” box.  From my faith and tradition, “Tikkum Olam” – “to Repair the World”, are words that resonate for people to take action, not to be a bystander. Today artists can be of any age to be activists – from children, teenagers, adults, and seniors . What art can do is to start a conversation, and find mutual respect.

Visitors with several of the works

Opening sign with "Trump Fan" by Pat Borow
 The words liberal, progressive, Democrat may not have been written all over this show with actual words, but there was no hiding the fact that the pendulum in the Sycamore Place Gallery & Studios from September 1-3 supported that agenda. Some work stayed on a specific protest topic – which ranged from rows of automatic assault military style rifles printed  against traditional red wallpaper  in Maxine Hess’s work “New America”  about gun violence  to Roxane Hollosi’s carboard female figure cutout piece titled “choice, conscience, consequence” that  used a metal hanger as part of the collage. Others mirrored the deep political divide in the United States, such as Jenny Bell’s “Two Sides of the Same Coin”,  where lines drawn polarize what used to sustain a more moderate temperament where the word compromise was hailed as success, not failure. A few of the works made some feel more anger such as Sandrine Andros’s “ Enough is Enough” while others evoked some sense of frustration as in “No Refuge” by Helen DeRamus or “Love is a Battlefield” by Vivian Liddell.  “Trump Fan” by Pat Borow elicited lots of discussion with her using a traditional white paper funeral fan for the support of a frowning president’s portrait. Several works were mini-history lessons such as Vickie Martin Conison’s collage “Complicit”, with a quote by Albert Einstein glued onto the actual United States Constitution. 
Vickie Martin-Conison with "Complicit"
"Choice, Conscience, Consequence" by Roxanne Hollosi with Maxine Hess and Callahan McDonough

The absolute authentic  creativity of each of the approximate thirty artists illuminated the gallery. This was definitely not decorator art to add the right color to one’s d├ęcor, although many of the works could find an important place in a home where the artistic qualities of composition, color, shape, or texture were strong.   Besides more traditional 2-D work hung with wires or nails, was a box filled with game pieces to give-away called “Anti Trump Dust” created by Dharma S. Lunar, and who could forget the various artistic postcards to send to government elected officials -  hung on strings below a metal construction piece made out of former Hillary sign posts. This most creative mobile was the brainchild of Claire Lewis Evans.  

"Untitled" by Claire Lewis Evans; hanging mobile using cards to send to politicians using steel from Hillary yard signs
In talking to a few of those attending the opening, a mother with a 13 year old daughter was particularly drawn to the work  by Lucy Julia Hale, “Margaret Sanger – Social Justice – Not to Hate”. She said she “almost burst into tears” when seeing it.  For Barbara Robinson, an artist who has been doing political satire thematic  work for over 30 plus years,  felt the entire show, to see “everyone’s interpretations was very inspirational.” Her own illustrations in the show echoed thought provoking political cartoon drawings.  Journalist writer, Kevin Madigan felt “we need more of this” kind of art as this is “not a normal time in our country.” He continued, “ we have to stand up and complain… and care about history.”

"MESSAGES OF HOPE" (described below)
"On Many Sides" by Jenny Bell
During the show, a tall 3-sided kiosk held pasted pages from Margaret Atwood’s book, ”The Handmaid’s Tale”,  where artists and those attending wrote their own protest messages in red or black pens in this collaborative effort called “Messages of Hope”.  Presenting original protest theme poetry during the opening on September 1st were George Hess, an educator from Woodstock, Georgia whose poem, “I am white” recounted the issue of race in our country today. Artist, teacher, poet and owner of Sycamore Place Gallery & Studios, Sylvia Cross read her poem "Melania is Dreaming" while a weightlifter, fitness coach, and artist Rachael Bommacino lifted barbells while Cross gave her reading.
 Well known art critic, poet and philosopher Jerry Cullum read his original poetry, making those present appreciate both the spoken word as much as the art surrounding the circle of listeners.  The visual art exhibition along with the spoken word presentations  offered another source of inspiration during the popular annual Decatur Book Festival that was ongoing during  the same weekend. 
Artist Jody Doughty with her work "Social Justice/Human Rights"
Because there were no artist statement text accompanying this show, I asked participating artists to send me insights about their work; a few artists complied. With their permission, I will post their writings in future blog articles. The protest show was the third Art+Activism topic, conceived by Jenny Bell. Other topics have 
included the 2016  show, “46/21  46 million slaves/21st Century - Modern Day Slavery  (about Sex and Human Trafficking) held at the Mammal Gallery in Atlanta, and in 2013, WCAGA hosted “Dolls in the City” with a similar theme co-sponsored with the  2Rules Gallery in Marietta, GA.  In 2016, the topic of Trees  Speak for Atlanta, was addressed with a Drawing Marathon event and a show, “Art & Nature: TreeSpeak”  held at The Blue Heron Nature Preserve in Atlanta.  Art+Activism , within WCAGA,  will continue building initiatives by sponsoring more exhibitions, programs,  and other educational  opportunities, insuring that the visual arts can be an instrument for positive change and dialogue in our communities and world. To see work from the Art of The Protest show, visit WCAGA Facebook pages, and the WCAGA website, –and be sure to  check out the Art+Activism artist directory.
Rachael Bommacino weightlifting while Sylvia Cross reads her poem "Melania is Dreaming".

AND - A BIG SHOUT OUT and Thanks to Jenny Bell for all her hard work organizing this event. She is pictured below flanked by Leah Medley and Kevin Madigan.

Wednesday, October 4, 2017


by Vickie Martin Conison

Born Diane Nemerov in 1923 – her name was pronounced Dee-Ann. She had a sister and a brother, and the three formed a trio of sibling artists.
Her grandparents founded Russek’s Department Store on Fifth Avenue in New York and Brooklyn. The store specialized in furs and upscale women's collections. In fact, it was whispered it was where millionaires shopped for their "kept women". The family lived on the 11th floor of San Remo, which overlooked Central Park West. As a child she would stand on the ledge of the apartment until her mother pulled her back. Maybe this is an early glimpse into her depressions and suicidal thoughts that plagued her life. Later on, she said "I wanted to see if I could do it."

When her father, David Nemerov, retired, he pursued a career in painting.
Her younger sister, Renee Sparkia Brown, was a sculptor and designer. (Her first husband created the Empire State Building illuminated panels depicting the 7 wonders of the world, with the 8th wonder – the Empire State Building. These 5’ x 7’ crystal resin and stained glass panels were installed in the lobby in 1963.)
Her brother, Howard Nemerov, was a Pulitzer Prize winning poet and the United State Poet Laureate TWICE! His son is a Professor of Art at Stanford University.
 At age 14 she fell in love with Allan Arbus (19 at the time). While she studied painting in high school, she lost interest in painting and said her only ambition was to be David’s wife.
“I hated painting and I quit right after high school because I was continually told how terrific I was. I had the sense that if I was so terrific at it, it wasn’t worth doing.”
They eventually married and together pursued a career in photography, turning their bathroom in Manhatten into a part-time darkroom. Her father gave them work shooting fashion for Russek’s.
Allan and Diane
Allan was trained as a military photographer in WWII. Eventually, their photography business took off, shooting for magazines like  Vogue  and Harper’s Bazaar. But, it appears as if Allan was the photographer and Diane was the stylist.
But Diane wanted to be an artist, not a stylist. Allan wanted to be an actor, not a photographer. During this time, Diane suffered from several depressive episodes. They had two daughters, Doon (who later published two books with Richard Avendon) and Amy, who is a photographer and a teacher, as well as a writer.
Diane’s turning point came by taking a class at the New School in New York with Lisette Model.
“I always thought of photography as a naughty thing to do – that was one of my favorite tings about it, and when I first did it, I felt very perverse.”
She began taking photographs of the seamier side of New York. As a child, she endlessly rode the subways and observe she she called the "freaks of everyday life".  She once took a bus to the shore in New Jersey to photograph a dead beached whale.
1959, the Arbuses separated. Also that year, Diane had her first magazine assignment for Esquire – that included photographs of a sideshow performers.

She began prowling the streets of New York at night. Soon she became a regular at Hubert's Freak Museum.
When she changed to a 2 1/4 format camera (in 1962)  and her pictures became sharper and more detailed. She said she wanted “to see the difference between flesh and material, the densities of different kinds of things: air and water and shiny.”
She was known for having intense relationships with her subjects. In fact, she spent 10 years with Eddie Carmel, whom she called the Jewish giant, before she captured the photograph she had been looking for! Some of the circus performers she photographed appeared in her images for 10 years!
The Jewish Giant at Home with His Parents, Bronx 1970 ©Diane Arbus estate

The art-world began to see Arbus’ pictures as more than journalism. In 1967, 32 of her photographs were chosen by MOMA for an exhibition.

With her growing fame, it is understandable people became a little wary of being photographed by someone that had been dubbed “the wizard of odds”.  At this time, Allan, who she remained close to, moved to Los Angeles to pursue acting full time.  Do you know his most famous role?
Allan as Dr. Signey Freedman
Yes, he played the psychiatrist on MASH!
Ahead of the times,  Diane had a plan to sell limited editions of 10 of her photographs in a clear box that doubled as a frame for $1,000 per set.While only four sets sold, one set was sold to the artist Jasper Johns and two sets to photographer Richard Avendon!  (one set recently sold for $553,000).
A Young Man in Curlers at Home on West 20th St. NYC 1967
In 1971 she was chosen to represent the United States in the 1972 Venice  Biennale – the FIRST American photorapher to be so honored.
Unfortunately, in 1971 she was ovewhelmed by what she called “the blues”. On July 26, she took barbituates and slit her wrists and was found in her West Village apartment two days later.
Identical Twins 1967
Circus Performer
She was also the subject of a movie starring Nicole Kidman - FUR, An Imaginary Portrait of Diane Arbus (2006)

Some of my favorite quotes:
“Love involves a peculiar unfathomable combination of understanding and misunderstanding.”
“A photograph is a secret about a secret. The more it tells you the less you know.”
“The world can only be grasped by action, not by contemplation. The hand is the cutting edge of the mind.”
What do you think of Diane Arbus and her photographs? I think a series about the entire family on PBS - or on American Masters - would be so interesting!

Thursday, April 27, 2017


Memorable Earth Day Celebration: WCAGA Drawing Marathon at Blue Heron Nature Preserve Creates a Wall -April 22, 2017
By Flora Rosefsky
Photos by Sally Epstein
The hinged panels/the Drawing Marathon wall at the BHNP - before
becoming works of art!

Creating work outdoors conjures up visions of new challenges for any artist who normally works in their studio space with a roof over their head, properly set thermostats, and having little concern about the weather outside one’s window. Earth Day, on April 22, 2017 became an opportunity for a few WCAGA member artists to celebrate being stewards of our planet Earth, as part of the popular WCAGA “Drawing Marathon” program held at various locations throughout the year with this particular program being  located outdoors at the beginning of the Woodland Loop Trail at the Blue Heron Nature Preserve on Roswell Road in the City of Atlanta. . Under the leadership of Sally Eppstein, artists who chose to participate,  were given 4x4’ wood panels, hinged together to form one long wall where back to back, the artwork could be easily seen by anyone passing by the installation. 
Mother  Nature cooperated with giving us sunshine, holding off the prediction of rain until the following Sunday. Along with bringing  acrylic and LATEX paints, assorted brushes, plastic containers, some preliminary sketches, I included cans of bug repellent spray. Thankfully, that level of being prepared never got used. Although each artist worked alone on her panel, one could feel the camaraderie while seeing each other’s works in progress. We sometimes took liberties with initial concepts to refine them along the way.  The focus for this particular Drawing Marathon incorporated the WCAGA’s  ART+ACTIVISM topic of “TreesSpeak for Keeping Atlanta the City in the Forest”. Artists were asked to think about a favorite tree in the state of Georgia, encouraged to reveal how animals and the natural world interconnected with the trees to keep the delicate balance of nature in its proper  rhythm of life. 

Helen Deremus working on her Earth Day panel. Around the back looking at
the other panel art are Barb Rehg, Drawing Marathon Committee Chair and Tim
Hunter, featured artist at the BHNP art gallery.

Helen DeRamus brought infusions of light into her longleaf pine tree and its blossoms while birds found the shelter and food they needed. Helen’s completed painting within a few hours, had passerbys stopping often to appreciate the ephemeral beauty of her work.  Callahan McDonough used some collage in her art, making stunning repetitive patterns of Southern Magnolia leaves that became a unique border for a circle of life,  manifesting those animals, butterflies and more who were all connected to this majestic tree. My own interpretation of the same tree, “Magnolia grandiflora” used a more literal approach. Equally imporant to the actual development of my work, was the total immersion of educating myself about how the tree was so closely connected to animals like the quail, squirrel, opossum, wild turkey , and beetles. Jenny Bell took her tree and its patterns of crossing branches to create an arresting composition while Barb Rehg used a bold  black and white graphic design of the wood rings of trees to impart an educational message. As a work in progress, Maria Ramos’s persimmon tree of bare light tan branches took on its life as soon as she added her detailed cut out illustration drawings of the wide variety of animal life that became an integral part of that tree. Her scientific research accuracy authenticated the completed work . 
Jenny Bell painting her tree branches. Callahan McDonough's Southern
Magnolia panel on the left.

Why wait until there is an Earth Day to celebrate nature? Visit the BHNP – see the WCAGA Drawing Marathon Wall up through June 2nd  
Tree that supports a  multitude of wildlife by artist Maria Ramos

Enjoy the show, ICONS, featuring the work of artist Tim Hunter in the BHNP art gallery and when taking a hike throughout the nature preserve, notice some of the permanent art installations surrounding you. In particular, I highly recommend you check out the large mural, “The Giving Tree” and the oversized hanging nest with two eggs. The mural features an expansive Southern Live Oak, Georgia’s state tree and all the wildlife the oak supports. This mural was the result of a BHNP fundraising effort on GA Gives Day.  The title of the  oversized nest with eggs, fabricated by artist Maria Ramons, was “Feed That Which Feeds You!” Both installations are right near the WCAGA Earth Day Drawing Marathon wall located at the Woodland Loop Trail. 
For more information:

Detail of one of the paper cutout illustrations of a wildlife
animal,(raccoon) as part of the tree painted by Maria Ramos.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Beginning a Visual Conversation: The work of Maxine Hess

“Hidden in Plain Sight,” Hathaway Contemporary Gallery, Atlanta, March 18 – April 15, 2017

By Flora Rosefsky

Installation: The Reading Room, by Maxine Hess

Maxine Hess’s show, “Hidden in Plain Sight” and her artist talk occurred one day after the bridge collapse on I-85, which is not only disrupting the traffic and lives of over 250,000 people each day until repaired, but which also points out the tragic issues of homelessness, drug and alcohol addiction, and a sub-culture living under the bridges of our interstates without much hope for a better life. Do we take responsibility and make it our personal concern to do something about these people’s lives? Or do we get the bridge fixed, get back into our one-driver cars, and keep the reality hidden, as is gun violence, and other issues Maxine is raising with her art?

Artist Maxine Hess with Blue Guns

Maxine’s installation, “The Reading Room” at first glance reveals wallpaper, pretty enough to purchase for one’s home. Look again, and notice the block printed semi-automatic guns perfectly aligned, camouflaged by the traditional baroque design of the red wallpaper. A comfortable wingback chair, draped with a writing-embroidered cloth, provokes questions about what the artist is trying to tell us, or rather, what does she want us to say or think after sitting in that chair with magazines and books nearby with titles like “Guns Safety?” 

As in this installation, all of Maxine’s work encourages an authentic dialogue about important social justice issues including gun violence, sex and human trafficking, women’s and human rights around the world, and perceptions of physical beauty of girls and women. 

Anne Weems, Maxine Hess and Laura Hathaway 
with Maxine's repurposed quilt entitled:
Dedicated to the missing/murdered women on the US/Mexico Border

Maxine brings sincere sensibilities to her art: its intrinsic beauty of color, design and texture, and a certain whimsy within some of the work brighten the otherwise serious subject matter.  The framed monoprints of wallpaper patterns superimposed with printed guns echo the themes of this unique show. Maxine’s delicate embroidery and sewing skills repurpose found materials such as a large Texas star quilt upon which she’s added outlined shapes of women and girl’s bodies. Without personalizing details, the figures appear innocent and beautiful in the warm and happy colors of the quilt, yet there is a disquieting message when you take the time to look carefully, making up your own interpretation. 

As part of her artist’s talk, Maxine read a thoughtful poem by her husband, William “George” Hess, which reveals  a lot about how she approaches her work. 

Maxine Creates

I’ve seen you
Take a scrap of cloth from a sometimes creaking drawer
Lay it flat, but not iron out the wrinkles or smooth the edges nor clip loose threads
As it may become a tear or a drop of blood, or a leaf or a spider’s strand.

I’ve seen how you
Let the world see how you paint with cloth and thread
Stitches loosely made and some in a pattern of purpose
Only you know when your work is finished and ready for someone’s wall.

Perhaps artists can become the conduits of starting a real dialogue for social issues to make the changes needed to improve our communities. To help save one person is to save the world. Let us start with one person or one cause. Thank you Maxine Hess for your part to begin this conversation.

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Double Treat: Kathy Meliopoulos and Margee Bright Ragland

Don Dougan and Kathy Meloipoulos standing
next to Melipoulos's sculpture "Pinhead."

Double Treat: Two WCAGA member solo shows at Georgia State University’s Perimeter College at the Clarkston Campus

By Flora Rosefsky

Kathy Melipoulos’s artist talk was held at GPC- Clarkson Campus art gallery on February 15th. I enjoyed hearing about this talented member’s body of work now on exhibit through March 11th. The show’s title, “Under My Skin”, had new meaning after hearing what Kathy had to say. Many of Kathy’s mixed media works use chamois, which she says, “smells good, is soft, pliable, can be stretched, molded when wet then dried, stitched, drawn on, stapled, stained, painted. Very versatile.” 

In her talk, Kathy mentioned she “had never seen any work done on chamois leather. I had seen Native American art done on skin and have since found some contemporary artists who use it.”  To Kathy, skin became a “vehicle for autobiographical subject matter and other things that “get under my skin.

To someone who appreciates personal story telling in one’s art, Kathy’s work revealed her own journeys, some which were health challenges she has overcome, and her positive philosophy to live life fully each and every day. Articulating her thoughts about subject matter, Kathy said, “Family stories, narrative, impart information . . . Although I do believe all artists are a filter and all art is a reflection of how each one processes life, we all use different language and materials to communicate.”

Besides the chamois skin, Kathy uses aprons, which “are iconic symbols of women’s work, traditionally worn to protect the clothes from dirt. I have saved my aunts’ aprons because they are loaded with nostalgia, memories of family meals and gathering.  They also cover the part of the body that I have had trouble with – heart, lungs, sternum and neck. What’s underneath the “apron armor” can be fragile.”  

Text and/or figures are manifest through embroidery stitching – drawing with threads instead of more familiar pens, pencils or paint.  Some powerfully arresting pieces incorporate steel pins. Kathy says, “…the sculpture ‘PinHead’ feels like an extension of drawing. I could have drawn a glass head full of pin cushions but I had a lot of fun searching for the components, painting the pin cushions white, using antique hat pins as skewers, struggling with the many pin pricks. 

Kathy’s show is on view at the Jim Cherry Learning Center, Fourth Floor, through March 11, 2017.

Margee Bright Ragland—“Magical Narratives: A Retrospective. – Forty-Four Works from 1983-2016”.  

Night Bed by Bright Ragland
As I was leaving Kathy’s exhibit, GPC Gallery Director Don Dougan suggested I visit the solo show of another WCAGA member, Margee Bright Ragland. Margee is a full time professor of art at GSU Perimeter College and plans to retire next year. This marvelous retrospective was in the Perimeter Main Fine Arts Gallery of the Fine Arts Building on the Clarkston campus.

I gravitated toward Margee’s collage works, small in size compared to her paintings. Her shadow boxes were exquisitely crafted with strong use of composition, color, and texture using carefully selected found objects. I could see where each work, even without specific statements from Margee, is meant to begin a dialogue or conversation.  This is the kind of exhibition where you may “surf” the show quickly, and then return later to spend time appreciating the intimate details. 

Personal favorites included “Night Bed,” a collage that takes you to another century or world features mystical elements of floating female head and white owl staring at the viewer. Many of Margee’s works incorporate birds, which have their own symbolic meanings relating to both past and present. The collage “Night Vigil,” perhaps a companion work to “Night Bed,” uses different found materials with botanical motifs and patterns. “Suspension,” an assemblage of found and painted objects, symmetrically balances two red ladders and two gold leafed trees flanking what resembles a miniature theatrical stage set. “The Annunciation” is another work where I stood by it for a long time, thinking of the power of a story that probably went with the art – with images of angels, and a large staring eye. As Paul Gauguin said, fifty percent of the interpretation of a work of art belongs to the artist. The rest of the interpretations belonged to anyone who was looking at the work, even if they came up with a totally different idea. I find that is true today; I appreciate that our own life experiences offer up our own personal interpretations, even if different from what the artist intended. 

The Closing Reception was held on February 22nd, 2017.  Margee’s new book, “Bright Illuminations – The Art of Margee Bright Ragland and the Words of Others”, is now available on Amazon. The book pairs Margee’s collages with quotes from various authors.  If you missed her exhibition, this is a good way to enjoy Margee’s work.

A sincere thank you to member Don Dougan for the outstanding exhibition opportunities he coordinates as the curator and gallery director of the GSU Georgia Perimeter College and Clarkson Campus Art Galleries, and again, thanks to Don Dougan for his support of WCAGA member artists, for various group member exhibitions, and for solo invitational shows.
In August-September 2016, GPC-Clarkson had a memorable solo show, “Graffitti,” of large scale drawings by member Barb Rehg in the Fine Arts Building’s art gallery. “What is Seen,” a still life photography show for WCAGA artists Vicki Bethel, Lucy Hale, and Loretta Paraguassu was held at the JCLC 4th floor art gallery during Atlanta Celebrates Photography in October 2016.  

As WCAGA vice-president Maggie Davis said at the annual meeting, it is important for our members to support each other during the year by attending each others’ shows.  I look forward to getting to see more of our members’ work. 

GPC- Clarkson Campus:  Jim Cherry Learning Center (JCLC)–Art Gallery on 4th floor
555 No. Indian Creek Drive, Clarkson, GA 30021
(678) 891-3647
Hours (when library is open):  Mon.—Thurs. 7:45am—10pm, Fridays to 5:15pm, Saturdays 10am—4pm. Closed on Sundays. 

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Interview with Aleta Aaron, Artist and Psychotherapist

Above Image: Sculpture by Aleta Aaron

1. Who are you and what do you do, and what is your background?
My name is Aleta Aaron. I am an artist and a psychotherapist. I was born into a family of artists and have loved making art since I was a young child. I have been a psychotherapist for 30+ years working with individuals, couples and families. With gratitude, my career life as an artist and psychotherapist has evolved together over the years.

2. What's integral to your art and or art career?
When I sculpt I seek to capture the spirit and beauty of the human form by relying on the simplicity and purity of abstraction in my sculptures. My sculptures reflect inner dialogues, the complexity of the emotions.

Above Image: Sculpture by Aleta Aaron
3. What themes do you pursue and what medium do you use?
I primarily sculpt in clay, caste in bronze. I do enjoy dabbling some in painting, photography, wire art & create with whatever treasures I find around me!

4. What makes you angry, what makes you happy?
Someone expressing or acting disrespectful towards another upsets me. Spending time with my daughters and their family and pets, my husband, our families & friends, gardening, sculpting and creating art make me very, very  happy.

5. Who and what inspire you in your work and or in your life in general?
Among the people in my life who are an inspiration and inspire me is my mother, who is 90 years old. She is a sculptor who has worked in stone for many years and more recently in her late 80's returned to painting and drawing. She is an amazing woman and mother. I am also inspired through my work with clients. Thus, my art reflects upon matters of the heart.
Above Image: Sculpture by Aleta Aaron

6. What superpower would you want?
The power to heal the pain of suffering such as Cancer, Parkinson's, Alzheimer's & AIDS etc...would be an incredible super power to possess.

7. What is your favorite artists and or other person?
Among some of my favorite artists are: Andrew Goldsworthy, Barbara Hepworth, Constantine Brancusi, Henry Moore, Frank Lloyd Wright, Georgia O'Keefe and Alexander Calder.

8. What advice would you give to other artists?
Especially when one is going through a challenging time in life -create art. Be patient with yourself and preserver. 

9. Contact details


Sunday, January 1, 2017

Annual Meeting at The Goat Farm Arts Center – December 4, 2016 By Flora Rosefsky

Image by Ruth Schowalter
A gray, cold and rainy Sunday did not dampen the wonderful WCAGA annual meeting at The Goat Farm in Atlanta on December 4th. Approximately 30 members attended, including four new members who joined that afternoon. 

Following visits to the studios of member artists Eleanor Neal, Khalilah Birdsong, and Maggie Davis, those attending shared food and drinks along with an informative program in the Rodriquez Room. Officers and Directors of the WCAGA Board spoke about their responsibilities and welcomed members to get involved in the coming year. All members were encouraged to participate to help implement the initiatives our Georgia chapter hopes to fulfill in 2017 and beyond. Committee updates included Art+Activism, Art Share, Book Club, Communications, Drawing Marathons, Exhibitions, Membership, and an announcement to form a Fund-Raising committee.  All members had the opportunity to introduce themselves by telling us about their particular art medium as well as how they developed their current artistic passion.

In her opening remarks, WCAGA President Sally Eppstein noted she wants to encourage a feeling of inclusiveness so that any members who wish to participate in a committee or to help an elected officer are welcome to offer their assistance.

Vice-President Maggie Davis inspired us with her talk about how WCAGA impacted the arts community in the Atlanta area and beyond, emphasizing that we artists need to support each other, particularly other women artists in our community. Attending art openings is a key example. She reminded us to reach out to promote a greater appreciation for the work of contemporary women artists. Supporting Burnaway, ARTS Atlanta and Art Papers is also important.  Although a lot of progress has been made since the early 1970s when the Feminist movement took on inequality issues in the art world, there is still a lot of work to be done today. 

A special thank you to Kathy Meliopoulos for organizing the delicious refreshments, along with all those who provided them, and to Sally Eppstein for coordinating the annual meeting. It was delightful to see the many prints of members’ work exhibited along one wall, and to have a raffle of artwork donated by several WCAGA members. 

One can say those attending the annual meeting made their own “sunshine,” where we felt the warmth of friendship and the possibilities of what the Women’s Caucus for Art – Georgia can accomplish in what will hopefully be a bright future for our members and other artists in our community.

 – December 4, 2016 By Flora Rosefsky