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Women’s Caucus for Art Announces 2010 Lifetime Achievement Awards

posted by Christopher Howard — Oct 05, 2009

The Women’s Caucus for Art (WCA) has announced the recipients of the 2010 Lifetime Achievement Awards: Tritobia Hayes Benjamin, an educator and art historian from Washington, DC; Mary Jane Jacob, a curator and educator in Chicago; Senga Nengudi, an artist based in Colorado Springs; Joyce J. Scott, a visual and performance artist from Baltimore; and New York’s Spiderwoman Theater, comprising Lisa Mayo, Gloria Miguel, and Muriel Miguel.

These awards were first awarded in 1979 to Isabel Bishop, Selma Burke, Alice Neel, Louise Nevelson, and Georgia O’Keeffe in a ceremony at President Jimmy Carter’s Oval Office. Past honorees have represented the full range of distinguished achievement in the visual arts, and this year’s awardees are no exception, with considerable accomplishment, achievement, and contributions represented by their professional efforts.

Tritobia Hayes Benjamin

Tritobia Hayes Benjamin is professor of art history and director of the Gallery of Art at Howard University in Washington, DC, where she is also associate dean of the Division of Fine Arts in the College of Arts and Sciences. After receiving her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in art history from Howard, she earned a PhD in the same subject from the University of Maryland. On the faculty of Howard since 1970, Benjamin has written and lectured widely on African American art and artists, including the 1994 publication, The Life and Art of Lois Mailou Jones.

Mary Jane Jacob

Mary Jane Jacob is a curator, educator, and author noted for her work on the national and international art scene. She currently serves as professor in the Department of Sculpture and executive of exhibitions at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She began her curatorial career at the Detroit Institute of Arts in the late 1970s before becoming chief curator of the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles. In the public realm, Jacobs has organized multiyear installations and commissioned outdoor sculptures in urban and park settings. She has also published numerous books and exhibition catalogues on contemporary art.

Senga Nengudi

Senga Nengudi is strongly committed to both creating art and arts education. Currently a lecturer at the University of Colorado in Colorado Springs in the Visual Arts and Performing Arts Department, she has always been involved with bringing arts programs emphasizing diversity to the communities in which she resides. Presently Nengudi’s sculptures are taking the form of installations of increasing size. She has been a featured performance artist, dancer, and installation artists in numerous exhibitions at major museums.

Joyce J. Scott

A native of Baltimore, Joyce J. Scott is a highly internationally regarded artist whose work incorporates various artistic media, including sculpture, jewelry, glass, printmaking, installation, and performance art. Her pieces draw strong influence from a wide range of sources: African and Native American experiences, comic books, television, popular American culture, and the culture of the streets of her urban Baltimore neighborhood. The use of beads is a central element throughout Scott’s work, helping turn her works into bold statements about such issues as racism, sexism, violence, and other forms of social injustice.

Spiderwoman Theater (Lisa Mayo, Gloria Miguel, and Muriel Miguel)

Spiderwoman Theater was founded in 1976 when Muriel Miguel gathered a diverse company of women of varying ages, races, sexual orientations, and worldviews, which included her two sisters. As the oldest women’s theater company in North America and originally emerging from the feminist movement, Spiderwoman continues moving toward its goal of creating an artistic environment where indigenous arts and culture—the three are from the Kuna and Rappahannock nations—thrive as an integrated and vital part of the larger arts community. Taking its name from the Hopi creation goddess Spiderwoman, who taught the people to weave, the theater calls its technique of creating their theatrical pieces “story weaving,” in which performers write and present personal and traditional stories that are layered with movement, text, sound, music, and visual images.

Award Ceremony in Chicago

The Lifetime Achievement Awards will be held at the Chicago Cultural Center, 77 East Randolph Street, on Saturday, February 13, 2010, in conjunction with the WCA and CAA annual conferences (WCA is a CAA affiliated society). A dinner will be held from 6:30 to 7:30 PM in the center’s G.A.R. Hall. The awards ceremony will follow at 7:30 PM in the Cassidy Theater. Tickets for the dinner—$90 before January 1, 2010, and $100 after—will be available for purchase from the WCA website. Reserved seating tickets for the awards ceremony will also be available for $10; limited general-audience seating for the awards ceremony is free and available on a first-come, first-served basis—please arrive early. For more information about WCA, please contact Karin Luner, national administrator.