There's lot to appreciate when it comes to female artists and authors on the Island. For instance, Alameda Women Artists are presenting their annual show at the Alameda Museum through next Saturday.
The show's opening reception, held Aug. 10, was "a huge hit," according to Bonnie Randall Boller, one of the group's founders and a long-time Alamedan and artist. "It's one of the best events we've had in our 20-year history."
The organization is celebrating its past, present and future with the publishing of a book entitled, "Alameda Artists Celebrate Twenty Years." The book should be available at the ending reception for the group's current show, which includes a boutique and silent auction benefitting student artists on the Island. The event begins at 1 p.m. on Aug. 31 at the Alameda Museum.
"The kids who really want to work at their art need materials," said artist and Alameda resident N. Teddy Goldsworthy-hanner. "We've all been there as artists and want to do all we can to support them."
The group's book highlights art work in the current show, the 25-plus artists' plans and visions for their creative talents, and the history of the organization, which began when Alameda Museum curator George Gunn asked Boller to put on a show in the museum gallery in 1993. After speaking with Gunn, she reached out to other female artists on the Island, and the first show came together with contributions from 17 women.
At the time, women artists and groups like the Gorilla Girls in New York and Gorilla Girls West in San Francisco were drawing attention to how little access female artists had to studios and galleries across the country.
The success of the first and second shows put on at the Alameda museum prompted Boller to form Alameda Women Artists.
"And the rest is history," she said.
"This book gives us the opportunity to show what the organization is all about and how long it's been around making a difference for women artists in Alameda," said Goldsworthy-hanner.
Art featured in the book and at the current exhibit includes a variety of styles and media, such as painting, ceramics, collage and photography.
Nearby at the Alameda Free Library, local artist Licita Fernandez will exhibit her paintings through Sept. 28. Fernandez, a professional artist, has worked primarily in watercolors with a focus on plants, though she she currently works in acrylics on canvas.
The artist's work has been shown in California, New Mexico, Oregon and Mexico. A reception in her honor will take place from 6:30 to 8 p.m. on Sept. 4.
Janet Levaux also writes the Alameda Journal Blog at www.ibabuzz.com/alamedajournal.