20/20 Vision: Women Artists in Western New York

Rita Argen Auerbach, Kenmore, NY, Pavillion View Darwin Martin Complex, 2012, transparent watercolor on Arches paper

Exhibit:  February 20, 2020 – August 15, 2020
Reception:  February 20, 2020 — 5:00pm - 7:00pm


Welcome to a new view of Western New York. 20/20 Vision: Women Artists in Western New York presents the experiences of women artists. We are shown landscapes that are sometimes cold, but sometimes green and growing, as well as portrayals of family and friends, and artworks that address some of society’s darker social issues. Women artists—looking intently—see both beauty and challenges. Overall, the participating artists demonstrate a keen desire to exhibit their best work and have their art thoughtfully considered.

The Castellani Art Museum’s permanent collection includes the work of many national and international women artists, which is not always the case in public museums and collections. Historically, art by women has not been given the careful thought and critical assessment that art by men received. Works by women are not as present in the collections of individuals who buy art and support artists. That must, and probably will, change as more women begin collecting art. I invite you to be part of this change.

We thank the nearly 200 artists from Allegany, Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Erie, and Niagara counties that responded to our call for work. Each of these artists carefully selected that one perfect piece to reflect their work, their thoughts, and how the Western New York region has influenced their art.

We thank the Castellani Art Museum of Niagara University for their support and commitment to the work of women artists and the largest invitational exhibition of art by women throughout the Western New York region. Thank you to everyone who participated and for attending the opening reception and programming—and for looking carefully and thoughtfully at what we have produced.

 Michelle Marcotte, Coordinator of 20/20 Vision: Women Artists in Western New York

This community-driven exhibition was inspired by the museum’s 2018 Meet Me at the CAM film and lecture series which focused, in part, on the under-representation of women’s contributions to the visual arts. Responding to this well-documented history of inequity, 20/20 Vision will let the public experience the artists’ work without the barrier of the exclusionary jurying process. A series of educational programs and special events will be presented throughout the exhibition’s installation. Please visit CastellaniArtMuseum.org for details.

 Michael J. Beam, Interim Director, Curator of Exhibitions and Special Projects

View the exhibition catalog here

20/20 Vision: Women Artists in Western New York is made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature. For more information, please contact Michael J. Beam, Curator of Exhibitions and Special Projects, at 716-286-8286 or mjbeam@niagara.edu.