Founded in 1971, Women Artists of the West is a remarkable organization dedicated to uniting women artists, elevating awareness of their art, and promoting technical excellence. With over 270 juried members, the organization’s annual national exhibition just opened in Tucson, Arizona.
Since 1971 in Norco, California, Women Artists of the West (WAOW) has continuously evolved as more artists seek to become a part of the organization’s legacy. The success of the group, originally capped at 35 members, has brought a broadening of not only membership — now over 270 — but also an embracing of new genres, subject matter, and styles.

Betty Gates, “Surf Fishing,” oil, 16 x 20 in. (c) Women Artists of the West 2015

This year’s national exhibition, held at the Tucson Desert Art Museum, will be WAOW’s 45th show, with a seven-member blind jury choosing the works included. Wyoming artist Carol Swinney, a nationally known painter, graciously served as the exhibition’s juror of awards.
This year’s exhibition will feature 200 amazing works in a full spectrum of styles and media, and many will be available for purchase. Also included in the show are the works of five Master Signature Members: Betty J. Billups, Betty Gates, Cecy Turner, Kim Shaklee, and Mary Ann Cherry, each of whom was specifically invited to participate.

Mary Ann Cherry, “Piegan Bridles,” soft pastel, 16 x 20 in. (c) Women Artists of the West 2015

Women Artists of the West’s “45th Annual National Exhibition” opened November 3 and will be on view through November 28. An opening reception will take place tomorrow evening, November 6, at 5:30 p.m. Demonstrations by several of the exhibition’s artists will take place on Saturday, November 7. A full online catalogue of works included can be found here.
To learn more, visit Women Artists of the West or the Tucson Desert Art Museum.
This article was featured in Fine Art Today, a weekly e-newsletter from Fine Art Connoisseur magazine. To start receiving Fine Art Today for free, click here.

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Andrew Webster is the former Editor of Fine Art Today and worked as an editorial and creative marketing assistant for Streamline Publishing. Andrew graduated from The University of North Carolina at Asheville with a B.A. in Art History and Ceramics. He then moved on to the University of Oregon, where he completed an M.A. in Art History. Studying under scholar Kathleen Nicholson, he completed a thesis project that investigated the peculiar practice of embedded self-portraiture within Christian imagery during the 15th and early 16th centuries in Italy.


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