Images courtesy Sedona Arts Center
Images courtesy Sedona Arts Center

The Sedona Arts Center is celebrating The Year of the Woman as the theme for 2020, the centennial year of the 19th amendment allowing women the right to vote.

From the organizers:

We believe it is important to recognize women artists and empower women through the arts.

Arizona has a strong history of women artists including Mary-Russell Ferrell Colton, Kate Thomson Cory, Nora Lucy Mowbray Cundell, Jessie Benton Evans, Susan Ricker Knox, Erna Lange, Claire Downers-Phillips, Marjorie Reed, Lilian Wilhelm Smith, and Marjorie Thomas, pioneers who settled in Arizona before statehood.

Related – Read the April/May 2020 issue of Plein Air Magazine for the feature article “In the Field: A Female Perspective”

Images courtesy Sedona Arts Center
“Cereal Dreams”
Images courtesy Sedona Arts Center

According to Betsy Fahlman, Professor of Art History at Arizona State University, the resident art community of Arizona was comprised mostly of women before World War 2. Yet women are underrepresented in the art world today in galleries, museums and auction houses.

“We intend to do our part in changing the paradigm by celebrating Women Artists in 2020, declaring it the Year of the Woman and offering opportunities for the promotion and advancement of local, regional, state, and national female artists,” says Holli Ploog, Board Director.

Images courtesy Sedona Arts Center
“Chopin’s Heart”
Images courtesy Sedona Arts Center

In January, the “31 Women Artists” exhibition brought 220 entries from around the world, 8 countries and 38 states as well as a rich local response. The Arts Center wanted to find a way to recognize the local enthusiasm and talent around the surrealist theme so they conceived a new exhibition in May that will do just that. The theme for the exhibition to be held May 15-31 will be ‘Magic and Dreams – A Celebration of Art by Women.’ The deadline to apply is April 15.

Magic and Dreams is a juried exhibition that will feature the work of women artists in Arizona. The theme is completely open to interpretation. The exhibition will be juried by arts center staff on the basis of creativity, skill, expectation of sales, and available space in the Special Exhibition Gallery. Artists working in any media are welcome to apply. Jewelry, Sculpture, Photography and Digital Media as well as Painting, Drawing, Collage, and Mixed Media will be considered. Arts Center membership is not required.

"Paint Your Colors" by Lyn Boyer
“Paint Your Colors” by Lyn Boyer

Also this year, the Sedona Plein Air Festival will be a first of its kind – an all-woman event. Up to 31 women plein air artists will gather from around the country to celebrate our beautiful and unique landscape through an eight-day painting event from October 24-31, 2020. This year’s Keynote Speaker is Lyn Boyer, an artist who has been garnering national recognition through prestigious awards over the past four years. Lyn will be working with Arts Center staff to bring a very special group of women together for this event.

"Giving Warmth" by Lyn Boyer
“Giving Warmth” by Lyn Boyer

“As women artists today, we’re standing on the shoulders of courageous women throughout history. They carved a path for us to walk – in the hope we would someday run. They believed in themselves. They believed in their daughters who in turn believed in theirs. We can in turn choose to be today’s torchbearers. Carrying the torch forward, using our artistic vision with courage, power, and grace we’re able to pay homage to the past, add our unique voice to the present and bestow a gift on the future.” –Lyn Boyer

"Our Better Angels - Grand Canyon" by Lyn Boyer
“Our Better Angels – Grand Canyon” by Lyn Boyer

Please visit the Sedona Plein Air Festival event page at to apply for the 2020 Festival. The application deadline for female artists interested in participating is April 20, 2020.

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