2021 – Under the Bed

Central Massachusetts Women’s Caucus for Art
Under the Bed Show

“What is old is new again” is the theme of a group exhibit of the CMWCA. CMWCA, in which artists have selected favorite work from the past. Participating artists include Gail Bloom, C.M. Judge, Ruth Nelson, Sue Norton, Helen Obermeyer Simmons, Joanne Stowell, Carolyn Todd, Susan Wadsworth and Elsa Voelker in an online exhibition entitled “Under the Bed” which begins Friday, January 15, 2021 originating from Gallery Sitka in Shirley, Mass.

The mission of the Women’s Caucus for Art is to create community through art, education, and social activism.

Helen Obermeyer Simmons

Statement

The mixed-media prints of Helen Obermeyer Simmons are inspired by her ancestry and by events and places from the past. Her images honor family members who have risen with grace to life’s challenges.

She works in the historical photographic processes of Cyanotype and Vandyke Brown as well as traditional printmaking techniques including Photoetching. Her prints incorporate collage elements as well as watercolor and colored pencil drawing.

Bio         

323 Northfield Road, Lunenburg, MA  01462
978 660.2400

Education
Bachelor of Fine Arts in Art, Stephens College, Columbia, MO, 1977
Master of Fine Arts in Photography, Rochester Institute of Technology, Rochester, NY, 1981

Professional Experience
Co-Curator and Exhibit Design, Harvest Art Exhibit, Darien Library Gallery, Darien, CT, Organized a group exhibit of paintings, drawings, prints and photographs by members of the Darien High School class of 1973. Corresponded with artists, juried artwork and installed exhibit  January – September 2018

Professor of Communications Media, Fitchburg State University, Fitchburg, MA
Taught undergraduate courses in graphic design and photography. Served as a member of the gallery commitee, promotions committee and curriculum committee. Faculty advisor to Scrimshaw the university arts and literary publication and Visions the communications media honors exhibition. January 1981 – July 2016

Exhibit Director and Studio Artist, Rollstone Studios, Fitchburg, MA
Coordinated exhibits and programs for a collaborative artists studio space and gallery. January 2008 – September 2015

Recent Exhibitions
Intersectional History, Woman Made Gallery, Chicago, IL, February 2020
84th Regional Exhibition of Art and Craft, Fitchburg Art Museum, June through August 2019
And Still I Rise, First Parish Church, Fitchburg, MA, October 2019 – January 2020
Bearing Witness, Gallery Sitka, Fitchburg, MA, October – November 2018
Zavo, New York, NY, February – March 2019
Inner Resonance, Fitchburg Art Museum, Fitchburg, MA, April 2015
The Golden Age: Artwork by Helen Obermeyer Simmons, Rollstone Studios, Fitchburg, MA, October 2013

Community Work
Fitchburg Cultural Alliance, past president and board member, 1987 – present
Central MA Chapter of the WCA, past president and board member, 2005 – present
Women’s Caucus for Art, National Board Member, 2011 – 2016
Fitchburg Historical Society, past president and board member 2002 – 2012

Research Interests
Architecture of H. M. Francis, Italian-American History, The Nokota Horse Conservancy

C.M. Judge

Statement

There is a moment when art begins to breathe and I completely forget that I’m the one who made it — this birthing releases the work to begin its work to seamlessly influence others.

My art making, whether drawing, painting, video or installation involves “prayerful illumination” — a kind of looking/feeling/being present to the miraculous world. My footing or frame of reference is an extended gaze that seeks to perceive the interconnectedness of all things, the dignity of life, the confluence of the beautiful and the mundane. My art becomes a conduit for these intimate things. Painting offers a bountiful means to “bear witness”; lush strokes of color in service to one’s gaze. 

Bio

Intermedia artist, C. M. Judge works at Moongate Studio in Fitchburg, MA creating drawings, paintings, sculpture, video and installations. Focussing on the poetic confluences of body and spirit, Ms. Judge’s work has been exhibited worldwide. She is co-founder of FemLink-Art, the international video artist collective and the Central Mass chapter of the Women’s Caucus for Art. Judge is a 2019 recipient of the Médaille D’Etain from the Socièté Académique Arts-Sciences-Lettres in Paris for excellence in art and positive contribution to society and the inaugural Present Tense Prize recognizing artwork that exemplifies new practices, artistic risk-taking, and excellence in execution from ArtsWorcester. She holds a M.S. in Visual Studies from MIT. 

Carolyn Todd

Statement/Bio

I have observed that art increases and sharpens our experiences with life. I have a BFA and a MA which includes the Fine Arts, Art History, and Arts Education. I started my academic studies in higher education as a seventh-grader through the Saturday Morning Art Project. I received scholarships from UT and the City of Austin.

My paintings, drawings, and illustrations have been shown in private collections, galleries, cultural activity centers, and art institutions in the United States and South America. 

I was selected as the “Artist in Residence” for the National Park Service. My solo show “El Cielo, Las Mesas y El Rio Diablo” was attended by the Del Rio and Sul Ross State University communities. I exhibited paintings inspired by nature, Big Bend National Park, and private ranches located on the Devil’s River. 

As an experienced art instructor; I have taught high school, college, and adult students. I have taught or I am currently teaching via Zoom for Fitchburg State University ALFA program, Fitchburg Art Museum, and the Seven Hills Creative Minds program through the Worcester Art Museum. I have also worked as an art therapist and I am a retired counselor for people with disabilities.

Elsa Voelcker

Statement

Elsa Voelcker has a thirty-year career teaching photography at St. Anselm College in Manchester, New Hampshire and twenty-seven years at Franklin Pierce University in Rindge, New Hampshire. 

She received her B.A. in art history from Boston University and went on to study photography with Lee Broman at the Museum of Fine Arts School in Boston and later with Nathan and Joan Lyons at the Visual Studies Workshop in Rochester, New York while acquiring an M.F.A. with a minor in history of photography through SUNY Buffalo.

Voelcker continues to make traditional black and white photographic portraits as well as selling color nature cards at venues around New Hampshire.  She also makes one of a kind artist books and family photo albums.

Bio

ORGANIZATIONAL AFFILIATIONS
1991-pres. – Lecturer in photography
at St. Anselm College, Manchester, NH
1991-2019 – Lecturer in photography Franklin Pierce University, Rindge, NH
2013-15 – Co-chair of Social Justice Committee, Peterborough Unitarian Universalist Church, Peterborough, New Hampshire
2001-2009 – “Artists’Leadership Network” group leader
2005- 2010 – Northeast Regional Coordinator, Artist Leadership Network
2001-2003 – Elected President of the New Hampshire Women’s Caucus for Art
1998-2010 – Founder/Director of Artist Circle monthly critique group

SOLO EXHIBITIONS
2020 – Rivermead Art Gallery, Peterborough, NH, Floral Fantasies – Postponed due to Covid-19
2012 – Peterborough Art Academy & Gallery, Peterborough, New Hampshire Portraits of Flowers
2011 – Hancock Library Gallery, Coming Full Circle, Hancock New Hampshire,
Sharon Arts Gallery, Elsa Voelcker Photography, Peterborough, N.H.
2010 – Starving Artist Gallery, Keene, New Hampshire, Piercing Portraits, artist talk
2007 – Jaffrey Civic Center, Jaffrey, New Hampshire, Portraits and Peonies, artist talk
2006 – Thoreau Art Gallery, Student Center, Franklin Pierce College, Rindge, New Hampshire, Piercing Images, The Body as Canvas
2005 – Sharon Art Center, Peterborough, N.H., Colonnade Gallery
2002 – Surroundings Gallery, Gardner, Massachusetts, Intimacies, Jane and the Beanstalk, Manchester, New Hampshire
1998 – Lowell Telecommunications Corporation Gallery, Elsa Voelcker, Photographs, Lowell, Massachusetts,
1997 – Thoreau Gallery, Franklin Pierce College, Rindge, New Hampshire, 30 Year Retrospective

SELECTED GROUP EXHIBITIONS AND PUBLICATIONS
2019 – Twiggs Gallery, Busting Out: Powerful Women, Boscowan, NH
– Zavos Restaurant, New York City, NY
2018 – Kimball Jenkins Art School, Concord, NH, Past and Present, WCA board Members
– Sitka Gallery, Fitchburg, Mass.
2017 – Thorne-Sagendorf Gallery, Keene, New Hampshire, Biennial Regional
Jurors’ Choice Competition
2016 – Great Bay Community College, Gateway Gallery, At Large, Portsmouth, New Hampshire- juried
– Townsend, Meetinghouse, In the Beginning, Townsend, Massachusetts, juried.
2015 – Fitchburg Art Museum, Inner Ressonance, Fitchburg, Massachusetts
– Pease Public Library, WCA/NH Twenty Years: A Celebration, Plymouth, NH
2014 – Jaffrey Civic Center, Autumn Show, Jaffrey, New Hampshire, juried
2013 – Karl Drerup Art Gallery, Growl, Plymouth State University, Plymouth, New Hampshire, juried
2012 – Portrait of Howard Zinn published in his biography, A Life on the Left
2008 – Bromfield Gallery, Boston, Massachusetts, A Woman’s Place, juried
– Fitchburg Art Museum, Intimate Spaces/Selected Works, Fitchburg, Mass, juried
“I am my Daughter’s Canvas” published in a book, “Blaze: Discourse on Art, Women and Feminism”, co-edited by Karen Fostig and Kathy Halamka
– Thorne-Sagendorph art Gallery, Keene State College, Keene, NH, Biennial Regional Juror’s Choice Exhibition, juried, awarded: third prize
2006 – Fitchburg Art Museum Regional, Fitchburg, Massachusetts, juried
2005 – New Hampshire Institute of Art, Manchester, NH, Biennial Juried Show
– Fitchburg Art Museum Regional, Fitchburg, Massachusetts, juried
– Thorne-Sagendorf Gallery, Keene, New Hampshire, Biennial Regional Jurors’ Choice Competition
– Atlanta, Georgia, WCAGA National Juried Exhibit, Gender in Motion
– Tufts University, Slater Concourse Gallery, Medford, Mass, Girl Culture
– A.I.R. Gallery, New York City, N.Y., 6th Biennial, juried
2004 – Artspace Gallery, Maynard, Mass., Women’s Prerogative: Making changes
2003 – New Hampshire Institute of Art, Manchester, NH, Biennial Juried Show
– Tufts University, Slater Concourse, Medford, Mass, Running Hot and Steady
2002 –The Art Gallery. University of New Hampshire, Durham, New Hampshire, Action/ Reaction, juried
2001– Woman Made Gallery, Chicago, Illinois, Honoring the Crone, Image juried and used for the invitation
1998 –Photographic Resource Center, 602 Commonwealth Avenue, Boston, Massachusetts, “Her Final Hour” series juried into Members Exhibition
– Thorne-Sagendorph Art Gallery, Keene, New Hampshire, juried show, Sisters in Sight, gallery talk

GRANTS
2005 Research grant awarded by Franklin Pierce College to document the trend of piercing to culminate in show “Piercing Images, the body as canvas”

PRESENTATIONS
2015 Presenter on panel in Women’s Caucus for Art/College Art Association, Ignighting Regions through Art and Activism
2009 Presenter in symposium “Art and Politics”, The Power of the Photographic image, NHIOP, St. Anselm College, Manchester, N.H.
2006 Presenter on pannel in Women’s Caucus for Art Annual Conference
Co-Creating Art, the Private Made Public

COLLECTIONS
International Center for Photography, New York City, New York.
George Eastman House, Rochester, New York
Visual Studies Workshop, Rochester, New York

EDUCATION
1976 M.F.A. in Photography, Visual Studies Workshop, Rochester, New York. Degree granted by SUNY, Buffalo, New York
1970 B.A. in Art History, Boston University, Boston, Massachusetts

Joanne Stowell

Statement

To put it simply, my work is about reality. The majority of my work centers around the un-idealized realities of motherhood. For years now I have been fascinated with the ways in which our society, as well as artists throughout history, portray highly idealized versions of the motherhood experience that have a fictitious level of perfection. As a mother of two, I realize that this perfection is at times rare and more often non-existent. In my work, I have no interest in pretending that being a mother has been nothing but wonderful. Instead I choose embrace the chaos.

Through my paintings, I attempt to capture the daily realities of being a mother. Some realities are mundane, others much more chaotic. Now more recently, as my children are growing older, I have also begun to depict the struggle of what it’s like trying to raise strong women in a world where sexism is unfortunately still alive and well.

My paintings are primarily done in oil and range from small intimate scenes of daily life to very large works full of emotion. The larger works allow my entire body to become part of the painting process and actually alleviate some of the stress of being a parent through the paint. Also in my large works I tend to use bold, black outlining combined with scraped, gritty surfaces and dramatic colors that are both in response to the romanticized images of motherhood as well as my way of better expressing the realities of the motherhood experience. My work is not meant to be pretty as reality is not always pretty.

Bio

Joanne Stowell is a fine artist and art instructor. Although primarily a painter, Joanne also has experience with drawing, sculpture, ceramics, printmaking and installation art. Her most recent artwork consists mainly of oil paintings that center around the theme of a realistic representation of motherhood, and which are based on her experiences as a mother of two. Joanne has an MFA in Visual Arts from Lesley University College of Art and Design. She currently lives and works out of her home in Ashburnham, MA.

www.joannestowellart.com

Ruth Nelson

Statement/Bio

I am a Watertown, MA artist, meditation coach, and weight-lifter. My education and career were in mathematics and engineering, which have led me to an open and inquisitive way of looking at the world.

Years ago, I went out on a magical spring day with my camera and reflected on a teaching of the Buddha: in the seeing, there is just that which is seen.” The rest comes from the mind, which creates reactions, meaning, emotions, and stories. With that understanding, my photography became more of a conscious evocation of experience rather than an attempt to capture it. I endeavor to share my experience effectively to invoke and evoke emotion and connection. The viewer then continues the process, adding their own memories and experiences to mine.

My art education includes intensive classes at the DeCordova Museum and the Griffin Photography Museum, as well as at art associations and community centers. My work has been shown at the DeCordova Museum, Concord Art Association, Griffin Museum of Photography and other venues. I am President of the Boston Chapter of the Womens Caucus for Art and a member of the Central Massachusetts and New Hampshire Chapters.

Sue Norton

Statement

For years my creativity lay virtually dormant, but like any great passion, there came a time when the creative pulse became too strong to deny.  It became harder not to create than to create. That intense inward movement had to be released. Thus began my journey of self-discovery.

All of my art is quintessentially a self-portrait. It is about my personal truth.  It is about my reality, conscious or subconscious.  It is about how I feel and how I experience and perceive the world I live in.    

I believe my creativity is a spiritual matter. The real creator is that power greater than me which flows through my soul and escapes all human limits. The joy lies in entertaining my creativity. The joy is indeed in the journey. It is the creative process, not the end product that fills my being.  

Bio

I grew up in Iowa, went to college in Dallas, Texas and married into New England, where I have spent the rest of my life. Until recently most of my creative endeavors were spent teaching art to New Hampshire public school elementary students. Since my retirement in 2011, I have been able to spend more time in my studio making art.

I have an intrinsic need to make art. For me, art is a human expressive form that has been given shape as a result of experiencing my inner or outer world.

My creativity takes place in my studio, am trying to express. My absolute passion for color and texture comes from my reverence for the work of Henri Matisse and Vincent Van Gogh. Matisse has influenced my love of cut and torn paper and Van Gogh has always been undeniably my go-to person for color and texture inspiration. At the Purple Sunflower Studio, which overlooks Mt. Monadnock in Jaffrey, N.H. (www.purplesunflowerstudio.com).

Inspiration comes from anywhere, anytime. I do not confine myself to one subject area and prefer to vary my projects and media; hence, I label myself a multi-media artist. Whether working three-dimensionally or two-dimensionally, the media I used is determined by the idea I am trying to express.

When creating, my ultimate goal is to make a spiritual connection and then in turn, fearlessly share that connection with the viewer.

Susan Wadsworth

Statement

For this Under the Bed show, I have chosen one work from each of three triptychs of aerial views from the 1990s. I began doing this series of aerial works soon after I received my second master’s degree, in art history, from Tufts. Thus from 1989 until about 1999, I did many aerial works. I would fly in small Cessna or Piper aircraft with my husband, David Bourdelais, who was a pilot and member of a flying club at this time.

As we flew, I would usually videotape the inspiring landscape. Sometimes, when we were flying over areas such as Mt. Washington in the White Mountains, where there was often a good deal of turbulence, I would become airsick from looking through the video lens; but I would still continue filming even after being sick. At home, I would draw the play of shapes from the video, when I could stop and restart as necessary. (Even though my husband was very  supportive of my work, he could not stop the plane in mid-flight for me to draw.) I also learned to memorize much of what I was looking at for use in later drawings.

I was also playing golf at this time, as we were living in Connecticut and had no children at that time. Once my husband flew me to the Basin Harbor Club on Lake Champlain in Vermont and waited while I played the course. This triptych (a series of three related works) showed the aerial views of approach and departure as well as one view of the course itself which was a mixture of various views and holes.

Since we lived near Storrs, Connecticut at the time, we would fly over Hartford fairly frequently. Even though I rarely draw architecture and cities, I was inspired by the change of color and light over time. In some of these aerial views, I would combine different views and lighting effects. This view of Hartford is the last in the series and shows night lighting. The earlier works were lighter and more dusk-like in tone.

The Oxbow Triptych was also inspired by a flight over that Oxbow in central Massachusetts. We would also drive by frequently on route 91, and I am still fascinated with how different the views are from the ground and from the air. I was also thinking of the nineteenth-century American artist Thomas Cole and his Oxbow work at the time which included Mt. Tom, which is also seen in the lower part of my work.  In all these works, I am fascinated by the play of shapes, often of water vs. land.

When creating my pastel works, I would draw the shapes in pencil first, often erasing as necessary to have the minimal shapes work and flow in the right ways. Then I would layer the colors from five to more than twenty layers of soft pastel, until they were also just right.  Then I would re-do the pencil lines to give final form and depth to the pastel.

These works are discounted by 50% for this Under the Bed sale. They are not framed. If you are interested in the other two works in each series, you can write me via Gallery Sitka for an image or you can check out the flying section under my web page: susanwadsworthworksonpaper. I will also discount the price of the additional works in these three series for this show if you buy the entire triptych.

Bio

I was born in Pittsburgh, PA in 1955. In 1971, when my father retired, my parents moved to West Arlington, VT. They had met in Manchester VT many years earlier, and our family had always vacationed in Manchester until they bought the farmhouse in West Arlington. The rounded forms in my art often echo these New England hills and mountains. I married David Bourdelais in 1981, and we have three children who are now adults.

I earned my B.A. in art from Colby College in Maine in 1977 with honors: Phi Beta Kappa and Magna Cum Laude. I attended two graduate schools, earning an M.F.A. from Cranbrook Academy of Art in Bloomfield Hills, MI in painting in 1981 and an M.A. in art history from Tufts in 1989. My specialty is modern abstraction, both in my own work and in historical analysis. I am usually inspired by the landscapes of the places I live and visit.

I began teaching at Fitchburg State in Massachusetts in 1992, moving to Rindge, NH in 1993. As a professor, I taught studio art and a wide range of art history: from modernism and the history of architecture to Asian art and interdisciplinary courses. I have presented over three dozen papers and published over one hundred art reviews over 30 years.

I have also been exhibiting my pastel works broadly throughout New England and upstate NY. In 2008, I organized the Fall Foliage Art Studio Tour in the Monadnock Region, and it continues to this day over Columbus Day weekend, with the exception of cancellation in fall 2020 due to Covid-19.

I am represented by Gallery Sitka of Shirley Massachusetts. In this YouTube or Vimeo video, I discuss my work with Tamar Russell Brown, director of Gallery Sitka, August, 2020.

Please also check out the short 3-minute video, as well as my webpage: www.susanwadsworthworksonpaper.com