Women on the Edge of Time
(NYSWA/1925-2021) approaches its centennial presenting the exhibition Women on the Edge of Time at Taller Boricua’s online Gallery during Women’s History Month, 2021
In the early part of the last century, with New York City serving as the cultural gateway, the social and political climate of America was fertile territory for women artists to unite to express their avowed role in society: to demand freedom and recognition parallel to the Women’s Suffragette Movement which was clearly gaining ground. It is no less significant today. The right to equal education, gallery representation, curatorial inclusion, museum presence and equivalency in sales remains a focal point for female artists and is consistent with the mission of the New York Society of Women Artists (NYSWA). The exhibition currently featured at Taller Boricua Gallery for Women’s History Month entitled New York Society of Women Artists: Women on the Edge of Time. reveals that social change starts in the realm of ideas as contemporary artists with diverse histories consider the challenges of immigrant rights, basic human rights, the “me too” movement, gender equality, environmental concerns, and racism.
A century later, The New York Society of Women Artists remains in action within a politically charged landscape. NYSWA visual artists engage in a dialogue as independent beings facing their life experience, their time, political views, and the future of the planet. NYSWA artists search, seek, and find communicative means to address their ideas and their personal power in the present world through the artistic process. As it approaches its centennial anniversary, the New York Society of Women Artists remains an engaged creative
force, rich in its diversity, re-birthing once again its role as an activist, looking to the future while honoring its past.
The New York Society of Women Artists (NYSWA/1925-2021)
The New York Society of Women Artists (NYSWA) was founded in 1925 and devoted itself to avant-garde women artists.
The original members participated in the Armory Show, some were members of the Whitney Studio Club and the Society of Independent Artists. Historically members received Guggenheim Fellowships, The Prix de Rome and were in the
Federal Arts Project during the New Deal. Today NYSWA is a membership organization consisting of diverse multigenerational women artists working in a variety of modes; abstraction, minimalism, figurative and narrative painting, printmaking, as well as installation and sculpture.
A close look at the original members of NYSWA provides a mirror image of its carefully culled membership today (limited by charter to 60 artists). Coming from ethnic and cultural diversity, a wide spectrum of economic strata and educational experience, the artists of NYSWA have fully expressed creatives whose styles are varied but whose beliefs and commitments remain unaltered from the original mission of NYSWA. Whether in painting or sculpture, abstraction, or representation, classic or experimental, still-life or landscape, their single most significant likeness is sharing the goal to expand the rights of female artists.
Obtaining “The Vote” in the early part of the last century was a major accomplishment taking many years of engagement. Similarly, today, the female artist remains vociferous in confronting the enormous perils of the moment
(social injustice, voting rights, women’s rights, climate change, etc.). Without the cultural contribution provided by women’s organizations and societies, overcoming today’s obstacles would be impossible. Like their predecessors, a
parallel career in teaching, design, fashion, graphic arts, and new media may come with the territory of acting as a
female agent of culture. Participating in meetings, workshops, salons, symposiums, and cultural organizations is as practiced and prized today as it was a century ago. NYSWA remains in action within a politically charged landscape responding as did its fearless forerunners, the Suffragettes of the 20th Century.