JBE Grand Canyon, Photo: Collection of Ed and Fran Elliot

Bringing Arizona's Pioneering Women Artists Into The Light

The Museum of Northern Arizona’s current exhibit “Arizona’s Pioneering Women Artists” looks to shine a light on women who have had long art careers in the state. The artists in the exhibit predominantly lived in the Northern Arizona area, including Prescott, and the Phoenix area — taking inspiration from the environment around them.

Visitors to the museum are able to view the paintings from a number of different women, as well as a dozen or so books that were illustrated by Lillian Wilhelm Smith and written by Lou Ella Archer. Along with the exhibit, the Museum of Northern Arizona also released a catalog “Arizona’s Pioneering Women Artists — Impressions of the Grand Canyon State.” The catalog shows images of the art pieces as well as provides a greater back-story to the history and the struggle of women artists.

The artists featured in the exhibit became wildly unknown after the contemporary art movement in the ’70s, which brought in what we now know as Southwestern art. Curators at the Museum of Northern Arizona thought that the work these women did was an important piece of Arizona’s culture. At the time, there were many male artists who would visit the area to paint, but these women artists actually stayed year-round. They created the exhibit as a centennial legacy project in connection with Arizona’s centennial last year.

Seventy works of art on are display in the exhibit, and 65 of the pieces came from private collectors Fran and Ed Elliot.The exhibit shows pieces from artists from the aforementioned Smith and Mary-Russell Ferrelll Colton, Jessie Benton Evans, Kate Thomson Cory, Susan Ricker Knox, Nora Lucy Mowbray Cundell, Erna Lange, Clair Donner-Phillips, Marjorie Reed and Marjorie Thomas.

Tickets to the exhibit for adults are $10, and tickets for children are $6.

“Arizona’s Pioneering Women Artists”

Where: Museum of Northern Arizona, 3101 N. Fort Valley Rd., Flagstaff
When: Now through May 12, 2013
Tickets: Adults, $10; children, $6
Contact: 928-774-5213
Online: musnaz.org


One thought on “Bringing Arizona's Pioneering Women Artists Into The Light

  1. Sue

    Nice review, Maile. I just saw the exhibit. I’m so inspired. Can’t wait to go back and look at it again.

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