Women Painting Women began as an online blog in 2009, highlighting women artists working in the figurative tradition, started at a time when the founders, Alia El-Bermani, Diane Feissel and Sadie Valeri, felt there was little support for those working in that genre. Since then the site has featured the work of hundreds of women painters from around the world. The main focus of Women Painting Women is to gain recognition for contemporary living artists. In 2015, Women Painting Women began being referred to as a movement. Since then, there have been several exhibitions in galleries and museums world-wide based on the theme.
Women Painting Women: in Earnest is a traveling exhibition based on the original artists represented from the blog. It was organized by two of the blog founders, Alia El-Bermani and Diane Feissel. This is the sixth such themed show at the Customs House Museum
. Thirty artists from across the country and abroad make up the roster. A statement from the founders reads Women Painting Women: In Earnest is an exhibition that honors the human spirit and shares the thoughtful and unique vision of artists who explore the complexity of being a woman today. Each artist looks beyond the surface of her subject, beyond mere replication of the physical world before her, in search of deeper realities.
Included in the exhibition are two watercolors by Ali Cavanaugh. Both works feature illuminated figures boxed into Caravaggio-like blackness. Cavanaugh's paintings have been featured in solo and group exhibitions, on book covers, Fine Art Connoisseur, Hi-Fructose The New York Times Magazine, American Art Collector, and American Artist Watercolor. She has painted portraits for TIME magazine and The New York Times. Her work is featured in more than 400 private and corporate collections throughout the North America, Europe, Asia, and Australia. Among the other artists featured in the show are Zoey Frank, Ellen Cooper, Margaret Bowland, Jennifer Balkin, Terry Strickland, Mia Bergeron, and Lee Colie Wight.
The Customs House Museum is the first stop on the Women Painting Women: In Earnest traveling exhibition tour, on view from August 4 through October 1.