"You've Come A Long Way, Baby!" - Celebrating Phenomenal Female Artists
Artwork By Annie Arroyo
By ANN GOODMAN-LIEB
You've come a long way
Every time I entered El Bario Artspace, P.S. 109, and saw the vast array of magnificent artwork that graced the walls of the gallery for the CAFED PHENOMENAL FEMALE ARTISTS SHOW held March 12 -29, 2022, I thought of the one of the most famous advertising campaigns and slogans in U.S. history, which targeted women and the new ‘women’s lib’ movement way back then in 1968.
“ YOU’VE COME A LONG WAY, BABY '', always showed a strong independent, sassy, stylish woman holding her slim women’s only cigarette. Yes, I know 1968 dates me, but I still long for those bell-bottom flaired -pants the model wore in her transformation from buttoned up suffragette, in that very first TV ad. Since I’ve never smoked a cigarette, ever, let’s remove that from the equation. And if you’ve noticed, I don’t use the term “baby” either in MY slogan, because past eighteen months of age a baby is now called a toddler. So don’t ‘baby’ me or ‘honey’ me, and I am delighted.
Here, now, every time I walked through the glass doors of the gallery, I witnessed the fierceness and strength of our PHENOMENAL FEMALE ARTISTS, the courage of their convictions, all displayed in every piece of artwork that hung on the gallery walls. And like a Mantra echoing over and over again in my mind there was the slogan “YOU’VE COME A LONG WAY.”
The spirit of imagination and openness to let the Muses breathe through them is visible in their pieces. With a humorous touch, Annie Arroyo paints favorite artists Salvador Dali, Frida Kahlo, Andy Warhol, and Jean-Michel Basquiat, as her Muses, for she says, “their artwork speaks to me.”
Franne Demetrician describes the impulse to create, “as an unpredictable process, sometimes like a drizzle, sometimes like blinding light. It can come to me in my sleep, urging me to go to the studio and play with textures. A painting has a life of its own, as I add shapes, lines, and colors.”
I was struck by how all our talented creatives have studied in various professional art schools, taken individual art classes, and are always working on their craft, always perfecting their craft, with dedication and persistence, in a constant spiral of evolution. They teach us all how incredibly powerful we are, that we must take on something that inspires us, that we have the ability to learn to do “it”, and to do different things. In order to become that pilot we must first learn to fly the plane and practice our skills again and again, so that eventually we might soar to gracious heights.
Here the artwork in this show encourages me, and hopefully each viewer, to do difficult things, from that deep inner sense of value and worth, and just feel the happiness and joy as the process and journey unfold.
It wasn’t so long ago that women artists were barred from studying in professional art schools. An article by the Metropolitan Museum of Art on Great Women Artists (March 11, 2022) taught me that in pre-Revolution France- approximately two hundred years ago
(1) only four women could attend the privileged Royal Academy of Painting and Sculpture at any given time, as professional painting was a no-no for women
(2) Women couldn’t take life-drawing classes there
(3) a royal decree banned women and girls from artist studios in the Louvre
(4) female artists placed busts of the vestal virgin in their paintings as symbol of their chastity and virtue
(5) Women artists and their artwork were disparaged and condescended to by male reviewers
(6) Women artists often fell into obscurity and were forgotten.
It is so glorious that our PHENOMENAL FEMALE ARTISTS - as they stand before us now in 2022- have had the opportunity to pursue professional studies and careers, evolve, and continue to grow in talent and versatility. How beautiful it is to view both their Abstract paintings, odes to their powerful imaginations, as well as their renditions of the gorgeous Female form and body!
In their limitless choice lies their Power, and ours.
To find out more and to purchase these stellar works of art, please visit the CAFED website and find the artist's link
Phenomenal Female Artists
Ann Goodman-Lieb served NYC as an attorney for many years. A Wordsmith, she is now happy to explore her creativity through writing projects. Ann is currently a student of Mantra Therapy Healing, a unique healing technique under the guidance of Dr. Tapasvi Janak Shahi. An ordained interfaith minister she crafts one-of-a-kind MANY BLESSINGS Floral Hair Garlands/Crowns woven with prayers, blessings and Wisdom Jewelry.
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Celebrating Black Possibility
You’ve Come A Long Way
Phenomenal Female Artists
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Seeing Voices – De Visiones Boricua
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