ALAMEDA -- Twenty years ago, George Gunn, curator of the Alameda Museum, asked Bonnie Randall Boller, president of Alameda Women Artists, if she would like to put together an art exhibit at the museum.

She agreed, and in 1995, the group of artists exhibiting formally became Alameda Women Artists. The group has continued to grow, while supporting women artists by showing, sharing and teaching various art media among members, and selling their artwork.

This year, the group celebrates its 20-year anniversary with an art exhibit at the Alameda Museum, the publication of a book, and a silent art auction from 1 to 3 p.m. Aug. 31. The Alameda Museum is at 2324 Alameda Ave., between Central and Encinal avenues.

Proceeds from the silent art auction will benefit the group's annual Alameda student art award.

"Doing something for the community is really what we're about. We have an ongoing fund for middle school and high school students, and are trying to increase it this year. Students who win this award receive money to purchase art supplies, which can be quite expensive" said N. Teddy Goldsworthy-hanner, current vice president of Alameda Women Artists, and author of the organization's new publication.

The silent auction portion of the exhibition is composed of 25 painted or collaged cradled pieces entitled, "A Figurative Quilt."

"We wanted each piece to have a similarity so we chose the cradle as the outside edge to each work of art," Goldsworthy-hanner said. "Some artists positioned their work on the inside, some on the outside. The main premise or concept of the piece is that of a quilt. The fragmentation of life often is seen as being a more gendered issue for women than for men. Because this work is a dialogue, a discourse of memory and individual lives, the idea of a 'quilt' here actually represents the whole concept of women's lives. Each piece is filled with fragments and thoughts like a tapestry of each artist's life."

Artist Jeanie Moran's piece entitled "These Circles, Those Squares" is one of those included in the exhibit.

"I began painting in 2001 after a career as an RN," Moran said. "I turned to art for my own healing, and am now exploring how movement, color, and texture combine to create bold compositions. I've learned so much about how to run an organization and how to be an artist from this group."

Patricia Edith, current Alameda Women Artists treasurer, works in collage. Her piece, "Green" is composed of paper, fabric and thread. She juxtaposes different textures and layers various patterns of fabric and colored paper together.

"My personal job as an artist is to tell the truth in the best way I can," Edith said. "Arranging diverse materials and images to provoke thought around a particular subject is what I love doing. I have gained enormous support from this community of women artists."

Mi'Chelle Frederick continues to work in graphite, watercolor and photography. Her piece in the exhibit is entitled, "Her Favorite Chair."

She also has another piece in the larger exhibit entitled, "Footsteps From Another Time" a photographic tryptic taken at the Alameda Naval Air Station.

Frederick explained: "As I walked through these deserted spaces, I began thinking about my aunts and uncles in England fighting and enduring war during the same time period, and those that passed through these spaces. Joining this organization was a first step in helping me view myself as a fine artist."