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

2018 Lifetime Achievement Awards

Announces the 2018 Awards Recipients

The Women’s Caucus for Art Announces the 2018 Lifetime Achievement and President’s Art & Activism Award Recipients and plans for the Celebration in Los Angeles, CA.

The Women’s Caucus for Art (WCA) is pleased to announce the recipients for the 2018 WCA Lifetime Achievement (LTA) Awards: Lee Bontecou, Lynn Hershman Leeson, Gloria Orenstein, and Renée Stout. The recipient for the 2018 President’s Art & Activism Award will be announced in October.

Please join us for the LTA Awards celebration on Saturday February 24, 2018 at the DoubleTree By Hilton Los Angeles Downtown Hotel, 120 South Los Angeles Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012.

The celebration kicks off with a pre-reception that includes a cash bar from 5:00-6:00pm. The Lifetime Achievement Awards Ceremony Awards will take place from 6:00-7:30 pm in the Golden State Ballroom. The pre-reception and Awards Ceremony are free and open to the public. Guests purchasing reception/dinner tickets will be treated to dinner and drinks in the beautiful Thousand Cranes/Kyoto Garden.

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2018 Lifetime Achievement Award Recepients

Over more than six decades, Lee Bontecou has created a singular culture in her work. Comprised of sculpture, drawing, and printmaking, each technical procedure Bontecou employs is an imperative in a dynamic totality.
Born in Providence, RI in1931, Bontecou attended Bradford Junior College in Haverville, MA and shortly thereafter enrolled in the Art Students League in New York City. During her time at the League, she made sculpture her decisive focus, and in 1954, at a residence at The Skowhegan
School in Maine, Bontecou taught herself to weld. In early recognition of her precocity as an artist, Bontecou was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship in 1956, which brought her to Rome. During her two-year residency, she began her experimental use of the welding torch as an instrument for
drawing and for finding “a real black that one could sink into or enter.” In 1960, the Leo Castelli Gallery presented Bontecou’s first solo exhibition in New York.

This acclaimed beginning led to numerous exhibitions in gallery and museum contexts including: William Seitz’ historic 1961 exhibition, The Art of Assemblage at the Museum of Modern Art in New York; the Sixth Sao Paulo Biennial; Americans1963 at the Museum of Modern Art, NY; Documenta 3 in Kassel, Germany in 1964; a travelling European exhibition in 1968; a mid-career retrospective at The Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago in 1972; an exhibition devoted to Bontecou’s prints and drawings at Wesleyan University in 1975; a travelling exhibition of sculpture and drawings of the 1960s at the Museum of Contemporary Art,
Los Angeles in 1993; a retrospective at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, and the Museum of Modern Art, NY in 2003; the 54th Carnegie International in 2004; Tracing the Century: Drawing as a Catalyst for Change, at Tate Liverpool in 2012; Drawn Worlds, an exhibition of drawings at the Menil Collection, Houston in 2013; and Lee Bontecou, at the Gemeentemuseum den Haag, in 2017.

Over the last four decades, artist and filmmaker Lynn Hershman Leeson has been internationally acclaimed for her art and films. One of the most influential media artists, Hershman Leeson is widely recognized for her innovative work investigating issues that are now recognized as key to the
workings of society: the relationship between humans and technology, identity, surveillance, and the use of media as a tool of empowerment against censorship and political repression. Over the last forty years she has made pioneering contributions to the fields of photography, video, film,
performance, installation and interactive as well as net-based media art.

ZKM | Center for Art and Media Karlsruhe, Germany, mounted the first comprehensive retrospective of her work titled Civic Radar. Hershman Leeson is a recipient of the d.velop digital art Lifetime Achievement Award, the most prestigious award in the field of digital arts, as well as a Siggraph Lifetime Achievement Award, Eureka and Rainen Fellowships, Prix Ars Electronica Grand Prize, and a John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship and in 2014 was named one of 21 Leaders for the 21st Century. Art work by Hershman Leeson is featured in the public collections of the Museum of Modern Art, the William Lehmbruck Museum, the Zentrum fur Kunst und Medientechnologie, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, The Tate Modern, The National Gallery of Canada, and the Walker Art Center in addition to many celebrated private collections. Recently honored with grants from Creative Capital, the National Endowment for the Arts, and Nathan Cummings Foundation, she is also the recipient of a Siemens International Media Arts Award, and the Flintridge Foundation Award for Lifetime Achievement in the
Visual Arts.

Gloria F. Orenstein is Professor Emerita in Comparative Literature and Gender Studies from the University of Southern California. Her areas of research have ranged from Surrealism, contemporary feminist literature and the arts to Ecofeminism and Shamanism. Her first book The Theater Of The Marvelous: Surrealism And The Contemporary Stage paved the way for her pioneering work on The Women of Surrealism. Leonora Carrington had been a friend and remained a major source of her inspiration in research and scholarship since 1971. Her book The Reflowering Of The Goddess offers a feminist analysis of the movement in the contemporary arts that reclaimed the Goddess as the symbol of a paradigm shift toward a more gynocentric mythos and ethos as women artists forged a link to the pre-patriarchal civilization of the ancient Goddess cultures, referencing them as their source of spiritual inspiration.

Orenstein is also co-editor of Reweaving The World: The Emergence Of Ecofeminism, a collection of essays that grew out of the conference she created at USC in 1987, Ecofeminist Perspectives: Culture, Nature, Theory. During the 80s, she was invited by the Shaman of Samiland (Lapland, N. Norway) to be a student with her in Alta, Norway, an experience that continued intermittantly for almost five years. She also created The Woman’s Salon in NYC that lasted for ten years beginning in 1975. More recently, her work in Surrealism, in particular, led to her inclusion of an essay in the book In Wonderland that accompanied the important exhibition of the same name that focused on the Women artists of Surrealism in the Americas, both those who were native to the Americas and those who migrated there during or after WWII. Orenstein was a pioneer in introducing the art of Frida Kahlo to North American feminists early in the 70s. Today, she continues her journey investigating the visionary worlds of revelation and the Marvelous, and will continue this pursuit in her research well into the future.

Renée Stout grew up in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and received her B. F.A. from Carnegie-Mellon University in 1980 where she chose to focus on painting. However, immediately after moving to Washington, D.C. in 1985, she began to explore the spiritual and cultural roots of her African American heritage through her increasingly sculptural works, which found their early inspiration in the aesthetics and philosophy of Kongo ritual objects. These works attracted the attention of museum curators across the United States and would lead to her becoming the first American artist to have a solo exhibition in the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African Art.

Inspired by the African Diaspora, historical and current world events, as well as everyday life in her DC neighborhood, Stout now creates in a variety of media, including painting, drawing, mixed media sculpture, photography and installation. She has been the recipient of awards from the Pollock-Krasner Foundation, the Joan Mitchell Foundation, the Bader Fund, the Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation, the Gottlieb Foundation and Anonymous Was A Woman. She was also the recipient of the Driskell Prize, awarded by the High Museum of Art and the Sondheim Award from the Baltimore Office of Promotion and the Arts. Stout’s work can be found in many museums and private collections, nationally and internationally, including the Smithsonian’s new National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, DC.

2018 President’s Art & Activism Award Recepients

Amelia Jones is the Robert A. Day Professor at the Roski School of Art and Design at University of Southern California. A feminist curator and a theorist and historian of art and performance, her recent publications include Seeing Differently: A History and Theory of Identification and the Visual Arts (2012), Perform Repeat Record: Live Art in History (2012), co-edited with Adrian Heathfield, the edited volume Sexuality (2014), and, co-edited with Erin Silver, Otherwise: Imagining Queer Feminist Art Histories (2016). Her exhibition Material Traces: Time and the Gesture in Contemporary Art took place in 2013 in Montreal and she programmed the events Trans-Montréal (2015) in that city, followed by a related publication “On Trans/Performance,” a special issue ofPerformance Research (2016). Her Live Artists Live performance and conference program took place at USC in 2016. Jones is currently working on a retrospective of the work of Ron Athey and a book tentatively entitled Intimate Relations: A Critical Genealogy of Queer / Performance.

Kathy Gallegos founded Avenue 50 Studio, Inc., a nonprofit arts presentation organization located in the Los Angeles neighborhood of Highland Park, to give artists a venue for their voices to be heard. Since 2000, she has served as the gallery’s Founding Executive and Artistic Director. Previously along with Barbara Carrasco, Yreina Cervantez and Francisco Letelier, she created a mural at the Plaza De las Madres in Managua, Nicaragua. In 1995-96, she painted and taught herself B&W photographic darkroom techniques in Honduras. In 1996, she taught teens photography, operated the gift shop, and organized exhibitions at the Aztlan Cultural Arts Center in LA’s Lincoln Heights neighborhood. In fall 2014, Governor Jerry Brown appointed her to sit as a Council Member on the Board of the California Arts Council.


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