In Dialogue with co-curators Laura Vookles, Chair of the Curatorial Department, and Victoria Ratjen, Curatorial Assistant
To celebrate the 100th anniversary of the passage of the Nineteenth Amendment guaranteeing women’s voting rights, Women to the Fore, the current group exhibition at the Hudson River Museum features more than forty female-identifying artists, spanning one hundred and fifty years. The two curators, Laura Vookles and Victoria Ratjen, selected diverse artworks across media —paintings, drawings, prints, photographs, collage and sculpture— from the Museum’s permanent collection, regional artists, galleries, and collectors. The exhibition includes works by renowned artists like Marisol, Judy Chicago, Louise Nevelson, and Mary Cassatt among many others, and less recognizable contemporary and 20th century artists. For instance, one of the highlights in this show is Anna Walinska’s self-portrait which not only marks her first return to the walls of the Hudson River Museum in over 60 years, but also brings to light her significant role in the art world of her time, including her dedication to promoting the work of other artists, like Arshile Gorky, who got his first New York City solo show in the mid-30s at the Guild Art Gallery, an art venue she founded and ran.
Maria de Los Angeles says she feels very blessed to be included in the Domestic Brutes exhibition at the Pelham Art Center. A DACA recipient, she grew up undocumented and currently she is working on getting her citizenship, looking forward to contributing by voting for the first time. “Since I arrived to this country 20 years ago, I have looked forward to Voting. I love this county and consider it my home and can’t wait to do my part by helping elect new people. I truly believe we can build a better future together,” she says.
Lacey McKinney who resides in Upstate New York, is drawn to the alchemy of processes like painting and alternative photography. For the last several years, McKinney has worked within the framework of painting, using figuration to reference embodiment. Usually splitting her time between working in the studio and teaching, this year she feels lucky enough to embark on a one-year teaching sabbatical, which has given her extra time for experimentation with other media such as using cyanotype process to make photograms that incorporate into collage and mixed media works. The artist shares some insights on her body of work in Domestic Brutes, the all women group show at the Pelham Art Center which engages the visitor with diverse approaches of what feminism means in American society today.