(NEW YORK, NY) -- Gladys Barker Grauer, a pillar of the Newark, New Jersey, arts community, will be one of four recipients of a 2019 Lifetime Achievement Award from The Women’s Caucus for Art (WCA) during an awards celebration on Saturday, February 16, 2019 at the New York Institute of Technology (NYIT). Fellow recipients include Olga de Amaral, Mary Beth Edelson, and Mira Schor. The recipients for the 2019 President's Art & Activism Award are L.J. Roberts and Aruna D'Souza.
The celebration kicks off with a ticketed cocktail reception from 5:30-7:00pm. Guests purchasing reception tickets will be treated to three food stations, butlered treats, an open bar, and the opportunity to congratulate the awardees. Immediately following the reception at 7:15pm the doors will open for attendees for the Awards ceremony in the NYIT Auditorium. The LTA Awards ceremony takes place from 7:30pm-9:00pm; and is free and open to the public. The annual Women’s Caucus for Art Lifetime Achievement Awards is held during the Women’s Caucus for Art and College Art Association conferences.
Gladys Barker Grauer has had a long and storied career as a multidisciplinary artist, gallery owner, and arts educator. In 1971, Gladys opened Newark’s first art gallery, the Aard Studio Galley, that addressed the needs of artists of color by providing a forum for mutual support, professional networking, exhibitions and sales of their work, launching several careers. She has produced a prolific body of her own work, recently on display in the show “Speaking Her Mind: Then and Now” at Gallery Aferro in Newark, from November 11, 2017 to January 12, 2018.
Grauer was born in Cincinnati, Ohio and grew up in Chicago, Illinois. She was educated at the Art Institute of Chicago. In 1946 she moved to New York City where she met and married Solomon Grauer. In 1951, they moved to Newark’s South Ward where they raised their four children, and where Gladys still resides.
In 1971, Gladys opened Newark’s first art gallery, the Aard Studio Galley that addressed the needs of artists of color by providing a forum for mutual support, professional networking, exhibition and sales of their work. Via the Aard, Gladys helped inspire and launch the careers of numerous black and brown artists in the Newark area. As a result, in 1983, the Newark Museum launched the exhibit, “Emerging and Established,” which featured an array of New Jersey African American artists and was the subject of a New York Times article.
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Gladys is an arts educator. She taught Commercial Art in the Essex County School Vocational Schools from 1974 to 1988. She is a founding member of Black Woman in Visual Perspective, the New Jersey Chapter of the National Conference of Artists, and the Newark Arts Council. Gladys has also served on several Boards.
For over 60 years, her artwork has been exhibited locally, nationally and internationally; and is in numerous private collections. Since 2006, she has completed five murals in Newark. Her most recent mural Music Unites Us All was installed on the PSE&G Fairmount Heights Art Wall. She has been included in numerous art publications including the St. James Guide to Black Artists, New York Art Review, Gumbo YaYa: An Anthology of Contemporary African-American Women Artists and Defying the Odds: Triumphant Black Women of Newark and Newark Women, from Suffragettes to the State House. At 95 years young, Gladys Barker Grauer continues to inspire the next generation of artists, and through visual discord, express her social, political and personal views.
The WCA Lifetime Achievement Awards were first presented in 1979 in President Jimmy Carter’s Oval Office to Isabel Bishop, Selma Burke, Alice Neel, Louise Nevelson, and Georgia O'Keeffe. The Awards were the first awards recognizing the contribution of women to the arts and their profound effect on society. Today, the Lifetime Achievement Awards continue to honor women, their work, their vision, and their commitment. Recent honorees have represented the full range of distinguished achievement in the visual arts professions from Charlene Teters to Kiki Smith to Carolee Schneemann to Renee Stout.
For more information on past honorees click here. This year’s honorees are no exception, with considerable accomplishment, achievement, and contributions to the visual arts represented by their professional efforts.
In addition to the Lifetime Achievement Awards, the President’s Art & Activism Award is presented each year to emerging or mid-career women whose life and work exemplifies WCA’s mission of creating community through art, education, and social activism. The award anticipates a lifetime of achievement for its recipients.
The Institute of Technology (NYIT) is located at 1871 Broadway at 61st Street in New York, NY. Tickets for the reception are available online.
Here is a look at the rest of the award recipients
Olga de Amaral, was born in Bogotá, Colombia. She studied textiles at the Cranbrook Academy of Arts in Michigan. Amaral is a renowned artist whose technique, which incorporates fiber, paint, gesso and precious metals, transforms the two-dimensional textile structure into sculptural presences that seamlessly blend art, craft, and design.
In their engagement with materials and processes, her works become essentially unclassifiable and self-reflexively authentic. Amaral is an important figure in the development of post-war Latin American abstraction. Understanding and being understood is an important part of her work. Through a complex system based on artisanal technique, she finds answers to inner questions. As a result, Amaral’s work is deeply driven by her exploration of Colombian culture and threads of her own identity.
Throughout her career, Amaral has gathered myriad accolades. In 1965, she established and directed the Textile Department at the Universidad de los Andes (University of the Andes) in Bogotá. She was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship in 1973, and in 2005 was named “Artist Visionary” by the Museum of Art and Design in New York. In 2008, she served as honorary co-chair for the benefit of the Multicultural Audience Development Initiative, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.
Galleries and institutions worldwide have exhibited Amaral’s work, the full range of which is represented in the collections of over forty museums, including the Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, the Museum of Modern Art, New York, the Museum of Modern Art, Kyoto, Japan, San Francisco’s De Young Museum, and the Museum Bellerive in Zürich.
Amaral currently lives and works in Bogotá, Colombia.
Mary Beth Edelson is a celebrated American artist, activist, and pioneer of the first-generation Feminist art movement. For the past 50 years she has created iconic artworks – ranging from photography, painting, sculpture and drawing to performance, book/print making, collages and murals – often using her own body as canvas and subject matter.
Edelson was a founder of Heresies Magazine and a formative early member of A.I.R. Gallery, the first all-women’s gallery in the United State which opened in 1972.
Edelson was the subject of a celebrated retrospective mounted by Malmö Kunstmuseum, Sweden, which traveled to Migros Museum, Zurich (2006), as well as the traveling retrospective Shape Shifter: the Art of Mary Beth Edelson (1988-1990).
Edelson has had numerous solo shows internationally and was included in important survey exhibitions including Painting 2.0, Museum Brandhorst, Munich; WACK! Art of the Feminist Revolution, MOCA, Los Angeles; Pictures by Women: A History of Modern Photography, MoMA; Mothers of Invention, Mumok Museum of Contemporary Art, Vienna; and most recently, Feminist Avant-Garde of the 1970s: Works from the Verbund Collection, the Photographers' Gallery, London. Edelson’s work is included in the permanent collections of the Museum of Modern Art, NY; Tate Modern, London; Whitney Museum of American Art, NY; Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, NY; Walker Art Center, MN; Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington D.C.; Brooklyn Museum, NY; Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.; Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, IL; Detroit Institute of Art, Detroit, MI; Indianapolis Museum of Art, Indianapolis, IN; Seattle Art Museum, Seattle, WA; Malmö Kunstmuseum, Sweden; and Sammlung Verbund, Vienna, among others.
Mira Schor is a New York-based painter with deep roots and engagement--as artist, writer, educator, and activist--with feminism and with art history, particularly the practice of painting in a post-medium culture. Schor’s paintings operate at the intersection of political and theoretical concerns and formalist and material passions. The central theme in recent paintings is the experience of living in a dangerous moment of radical inequality, austerity, accelerated time, and incipient fascism, set against the powerful pull of older notions of time, craft, and visual pleasure. Schor was educated at New York University and received her MFA from CalArts where she was a member of the CalArts Feminist Art Program and a participant in the historic feminist art installation Womanhouse.
Schor has been the recipient of awards in painting from the Guggenheim, Rockefeller, Marie Walsh Sharpe, and PollockKrasner Foundations, as well as the College Art Association's Frank Jewett Mather Award for Art Criticism, a Creative Capital / Warhol Foundation Arts Writers Grant and an AICA-USA award for her blog A Year of Positive Thinking.
Schor is the author of two books of collected essays, Wet: On Painting, Feminism, and Art Culture and A Decade of Negative Thinking: Essays on Art, Politics, and Daily Life. Schor is also co-editor of the journal M/E/A/N/I/N/G and editor of The Extreme of the Middle: Writings of Jack Tworkov. She is Associate Teaching Professor at Parsons Fine Arts. Schor was elected to the National Academy of Design in 2017. Schor is represented by Lyles & King Gallery in New York City
2019 Honorees for the President’s Award for Art and Activism
Aruna D'Souza writes about modern and contemporary art; intersectional feminisms and other forms of politics; and how museums shape our views of each other and the world. Her work appears regularly in 4Columns.org, where she is a member of the editorial advisory board and has been published as well in The Wall Street Journal, CNN.com, Art News, Garage, Bookforum, Momus, Art in America, and Art Practical, among other places. Her book, Whitewalling: Art, Race, and Protest in 3 Acts was published by Badlands Unlimited in May 2018. She currently editing two forthcoming volumes, Making It Modern: A Linda Nochlin Reader, which will be published by Thames & Hudson, and A Presence Which Signals Absence: Lorraine O'Grady Collected Writings 1977-2018.
LJ Roberts is a visual artist based in Brooklyn who creates largescale textile installations, intricately detailed embroideries, screen prints, artist books, and collages. Their work investigates overlaps of queer and trans politics, activism, protest, and craft. LJ’s work has been shown at the Victoria and Albert Museum, the Brooklyn Museum, Yerba Buena Center of the Arts, the 8th Floor, Museum of Arts and Design, Vox Populi, the Orange County Museum of Art, the Leslie-Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art, Powerhouse Museum, the Oakland Museum of California, the DePaul Art Museum, the ONE National Gay and Lesbian Archives at University of Southern California, the Bowdoin College Museum of Art, and the Smithsonian Museum of American Art where their work is in the permanent collection.
LJ’s work has been written about in The New York Times, American Craft, Artforum, The New Yorker, Los Angeles Times, Art in America, Hyperallergic, San Francisco Chronicle, Transgender Studies Quarterly and Journal of Modern Craft among other publications. LJ has been the recipient of a MacDowell Colony Fellowship, the Fountainhead Fellowship at Virginia Commonwealth University, and residencies at Ox-Bow School of Art, ACRE, The Textile Arts Center, and The Bag Factory in Johannesburg, South Africa.
In fall 2018, LJ will be in residence at the International Artists Studio Program in Sweden (IASPIS, Stockholm). In 2015 LJ was one of nine recipients of The White House Champions of Change Award for LGBTQI Artists.