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The Women’s Caucus for Art Announces 2011 Lifetime Achievement Awards

posted by Christopher Howard — Oct 18, 2010

The Women’s Caucus for Art (WCA), a CAA affiliated society, has announced the 2011 recipients of its Lifetime Achievement Award: Beverly Buchanan, Diane Burko, Ofelia Garcia, Joan Marter, Carolee Schneemann, and Sylvia Sleigh. In addition, WCA has given the 2011 President’s Art and Activism Award to Maria Torres.

The awards ceremony will be held on Saturday, February 12, 2011, during the annual WCA and CAA conferences in New York. The awards ceremony, free and open to the public, will take place from 6:00 to 7:30 PM in the Beekman/Sutton rooms at the Hilton New York, followed by a ticketed gala from 8:00 to 10:00 PM at the nearby American Folk Art Museum. Called LIVE SPACE, the gala will include a walk-around gourmet dinner with three food stations and an open bar, as well as the opportunity to meet the award recipients, network with attendees, and tour the museum.

Ticket prices for LIVE SPACE are $75 for WCA members and $135 for nonmembers (Prices will increase after January 12). CAA members receive a special price of $120. All tickets include reserved seating at the awards presentation. For more information or to purchase tickets, please visit the WCA website.

Beverly Buchanan

Born in 1940, Beverly Buchanan began creating art at an early age. She received a bachelor’s degree in medical technology from Bennett College in Greensboro, North Carolina, and then earned a master’s of science in parasitology and a master’s of public health degree, both from Columbia University. Rather than pursuing a degree in medicine, she decided to focus on making art. Buchanan studied at the Art Students League before moving to Georgia, where she still lives, dividing her time between there and Michigan. Her early sculptures were poured concrete and stone, and she has since worked in a variety of media, focusing on southern vernacular architecture. Buchanan is the recipient of a John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation fellowship, a Pollock-Krasner Foundation award, and two National Endowment for the Arts fellowships. In addition, she was a Georgia Visual Arts honoree and a recipient of an Anonymous Was a Woman Award, and was honored with a Recognition Award by CAA’s Committee for Women in the Arts in 2005.

Diane Burko

A painter and photographer who resides in Philadelphia and Bucks County, Pennsylvania, Diane Burko has been involved in the feminist movement since the early 1970s. She is a founding member of WCA who also founded and organized the first multivenue feminist citywide art festival in Philadelphia, called “Philadelphia Focuses on Women in the Visual Arts, Past and Present,” also known as “Focus.” After that event, Burko continued her feminist commitment to the present day, serving on the WCA and CAA boards and on the Philadelphia Art Commission. She is now the chair of CAA’s Committee on Women in the Arts. Burko has been recognized with fellowships from the Bellagio Center, the Terra Summer Residency in Giverny, and the National Endowment for the Arts, among many other honors. One of the first movers and shakers in the feminist art movement, Burko has not yet been fully recognized for her important contributions.

Ofelia Garcia

Ofelia Garcia is professor of art at William Paterson University, where she was dean of the College of the Arts and Communication for a decade. She earned her BA at Manhattanville College and her MFA at Tufts University, and was a Kent fellow at Duke University. Garcia has been on the art faculty at Boston College, a critic at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, director of the Print Center in Philadelphia, and president of the Atlanta College of Art and Rosemont College. Also a former president of WCA, Garcia has served on numerous boards, including those of CAA, the American Council on Education, and Haverford College; she was most recently board chair of the Jersey City Museum. Garcia now serves as vice chair of the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, on the Hudson County Art Commission, and on the boards of the Brodsky Center for Innovative Editions and Catholics for Choice.

Joan Marter

Joan Marter is distinguished professor of art history at Rutgers University. She received her PhD from the University of Delaware and has lectured and published widely. She is currently editor-in-chief of The Grove Encyclopedia of American Art, a five-volume reference set forthcoming from Oxford University Press in 2010. Marter serves as editor of Woman’s Art Journal, in print continuously for thirty-one years. She has published monographs on artists such as Alexander Calder and has written extensively about Abstract Expressionism and women artists. In 2004, she was inducted into the Alumni Wall of Fame at the University of Delaware. A former member of the CAA Board of Directors, Marter is currently president of the Dorothy Dehner Foundation for the Visual Arts.

Carolee Schneemann

Carolee Schneemann is a multidisciplinary artist whose radical works in performance art, installation, film, and video are widely influential. The history of her imagery is characterized by research into archaic visual traditions, pleasure wrested from suppressive taboos, and the body of the artist in dynamic relationship with the social body. Her involvement in collaborative groups includes the Judson Dance Theater, Experiments in Art and Technology, and many feminist organizations. Schneemann has exhibited her work at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles, and in New York at the New Museum of Contemporary Art, the Museum of Modern Art, and the Whitney Museum of American Art. Internationally, she has shown at the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía in Madrid, the Moderna Museet in Stockholm, and the Centre George Pompidou in Paris. Her recent multichannel video installation Precarious was presented at Tate Liverpool in September 2009. The Samuel Dorsky Museum of Art at the State University of New York in New Paltz presented a major retrospective in summer 2010.

Sylvia Sleigh

Born in 1916 in Wales, Sylvia Sleigh paints portraits in a realist style, informed by sources ranging from the Pre-Raphaelites to famous portraits throughout history. Her first solo exhibition was held in 1953 at the Kensington Art Gallery; her most recent, at I-20 Gallery in New York, closed in January 2010. She married the art critic Lawrence Alloway in 1954, with whom she became part of the London avant-garde. They later moved to the United States, where she continued painting and showing her work. In 1970, Sleigh became actively involved in feminism and started painting life-size nudes in her precise, realist style. She was active in many of the first women-artist-run galleries, including A.I.R. Gallery and Soho 20. Her work can be found in numerous major public and private collections. Sleigh was honored with CAA’s Distinguished Artist Award for Lifetime Achievement in 2008.

Maria Torres

Winner of the 2011 Presidents Art and Activism Award is Maria Torres, president and chief operations officer of the Point Community Development Corporation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to youth development and the cultural and economic revitalization of the Hunts Point section of the South Bronx in New York. The Point’s mission is to encourage the arts, local enterprise, responsible ecology, and “self-investment” in a community traditionally defined in terms of its poverty, crime rate, poor schools, and substandard housing. In 1993, Torres received a BS from Cornell University. That same year, she launched the Neighborhood Internship Bank for at-risk youth, the first employment service of its kind in the South Bronx, and established La Marqueta, an outdoor community market aimed at lowering the barriers to the marketplace for neighborhood entrepreneurs. In 1994, Torres worked with Paul Lipson, Mildred Ruiz, and Steven Sapp to found the Point. Recipient of Union Square Award in 1998, she served on the Board of the Bronx Charter School for the Arts from 2002 to 2009.

About the Awards

The WCA Lifetime Achievement Awards were first presented in 1979 in President Jimmy Carter’s Oval Office to Isabel Bishop, Selma Burke, Alice Neel, Louise Nevelson, and Georgia O’Keeffe. Past honorees have represented the full range of distinguished achievement in the visual arts, and this year’s awardees are no exception, with considerable accomplishments and contributions represented by their professional efforts.