20th Anniversary Exhibition
at California State University, Long Beach
September 14-18, 2003
WAM, a group of women artists, is coming full circle with an exhibit at California State University, Long Beach (CSULB), where WAM originated more than two decades ago.
During the 1970s the impact of the women’s movement brought about a flourishing of books and university courses on the contributions and achievements of women in many areas, including the fine arts. CSULB’s art department began offering a historical survey course on women artists entitled “Women Artmakers.” Connie Jenkins taught the class in the fall of 1983 and began leading informal meetings of her graduate students after class to continue the dialogue. A more formal group, taking its name from the title of the course, was created in the mid-1980s after Jenkins left CSULB. Although not coalesced by a particular political stance or artistic style, the women were buoyed by the camaraderie of shared experiences and inspired by Connie’s example. They began meeting at studios off campus and had their first two group exhibits in 1985.
By the end of the 1980s, the name was changed simply to “WAM.” Members were added, with membership being contingent on having attended CSULB’s art department. Membership in WAM averaged about 25, fluctuating as artists came in and out of the group. In the 1990s, not wanting the emphasis to be on the administration and maintenance of an organization, the group was closed to new members. Encouraging individual artistic development is a primary aim, and members meet often to share work, discuss art issues, take part in workshops, and host guest speakers. Today WAM consists of 20 artists, several of whom now reside outside of the Southern California area but remain active and exhibit regularly with the group.
This exhibit highlights the diversity of their work. On display will be paintings, prints, drawings, installations, and mixed media pieces by founding and current members of the group. As they celebrate 20 years together, WAM members continue to enjoy the enrichment of the group experience as artists and friends.
The opening reception will be held on Sunday, September 14, from 4-7 p.m. in Gatov Gallery West and Gatov Gallery East. CSULB is located at 1250 Bellflower Blvd., Long Beach, CA 90840.
The exhibit runs from September 14-18, 2003. Hours are 12-5 p.m. from Monday-Thursday and 5-7 p.m on Wednesday evening.
For directions, campus maps, and parking information, please visit www.csulb.edu.