Introducing the Wyoming Committee of the National Museum of Women in the Arts
Written by Caleb Nelson on October 27, 2022
Women from across the state of Wyoming have joined together to form the National Museum of Women in the Arts’ (NMWA) newest state committee. With a mission to advocate for emerging and established women artists across the state, the Wyoming Committee will support the Museum’s work to champion women in the arts.
Across North America and Europe, “86% of living artists represented by galleries are men, and in the US, women artists earn 74 cents for every dollar earned by men,” according to NMWA. The National Museum of Women in the Arts is the first museum in the world solely dedicated to championing women in the arts. The Museum works to help reinsert women into the history of art, garner national and international exposure for women artists, and foster careers of women artists throughout the world.
“As an art professional for nearly thirty years, I am excited to witness new and revitalized interest in women in the arts. There are many women artists, nationally and internationally, whose work is as crucial to the formation of art history as we know it, though have been unheard and unseen. We are excited to stand behind the work of the Museum and at the same time bring attention to the women artists of Wyoming,” says Shari Brownfield, of the Wyoming Committee.
One of NMWA’s most prominent exhibitions is the Women to Watch biennial exhibit, designed to increase the visibility of, and critical response to, promising women artists from various states and several countries around the world. The newly formed Wyoming Committee will sponsor Wyoming’s inaugural participation in the Women to Watch exhibit, focusing on artists’ interpretation of the theme “New, Future, and Alternative Worlds.” The exhibit will open in Washington, D.C. in the Spring of 2024 at the newly renovated National Museum of Women in the Arts.
The National Museum of Women in the Arts chose Wyoming curator, Dr. Tammi Hannawalt, to identify five women across the state of Wyoming whose work fits the exhibit theme, “New, Future, and Alternative Worlds.” After examining nearly 100 Wyoming women artists, Dr. Hannawalt has selected five Women to Watch who showcase diverse interpretations of the theme using a variety of art mediums. The five nominated artists are to be formally announced by the Wyoming Committee of the National Museum of Women in the Arts this fall. In Spring 2023, the National Women to Watch curator will select one of the five artists to be included in the exhibition.
The NMWA website lists Katy Ann Fox (a Painter from Teton Valley), Leah Hardy (a Metalsmith from Laramie),Bronwyn Minton (a Mixed Media artist from Jackson Hole), Sarah Ortegon (a Painter, Beadworker, and Performance artist from the Wind River Reservation), and Jennifer Rife (a Land Art Installations creator from Cheyenne) as nominated artists for Wyoming’s Women to Watch.
“My role as an artist is to create more of what I hope for in this world. My paintings convey optimism, modesty, respect, and harmony calling positive attention to moments of calm and beauty. I find the delight within subjects that may often be categorized as mundane or perhaps overlooked altogether and bring a depth of understanding in color theory, composition and the capabilities, richness and application of oil paint,” Katy Ann Fox says.
The Wyoming Committee is formed by passionate women from communities throughout Wyoming including Laramie, Casper, Jackson, Sheridan, Cheyenne, Wilson, Rock Springs, and Cody. The group consists of former state legislators and senators, practicing artists and community leaders, gallery owners and art advocates, directors, executives, attorneys, philanthropists, and nonprofit board members, among others. This volunteer group brings their diverse thought partnership to create, find, and sponsor opportunities to showcase the five nominated Wyoming artists across our state in advance of the Washington, D.C. exhibition.
In addition to the national and international attention the five Wyoming women nominees will receive, the committee is hopeful that the recognition will help uplift the profile of all Wyoming women creating art in the state.
“Wyoming’s open spaces, grand landscapes and quiet isolation provide endless inspiration for our artists. The stories they are telling through their art bring beauty, connection, and higher thinking not only to our statewide communities but to audiences around the world. We can’t wait to share that inspiration through the National Museum of Women in the Arts 2024 Women to Watch Exhibit,” says Lisa Fleischman, of the Wyoming Committee.
Donations to the Wyoming Committee of the National Museum of Women in the Arts will support the committee’s work to uplift Wyoming women artists to national and international audiences. Tax-deductible, charitable donations can be made out to the Wyoming Women in the Arts fund and sent to the Committee’s fiscal sponsor, the Wyoming Women’s Foundation, a nonprofit that invests in the economic self-sufficiency of women and opportunities for girls in Wyoming.
The Wyoming Committee is eagerly looking forward to revealing the five nominated artists in the coming weeks, and is thrilled to elevate Wyoming’s talented women artists to participate in such an impactful exhibit in Washington D.C. For more information or to request an interview, please click here.