The Smithsonian American Art Museum (SAAM) is thrilled to announce the third installment of their graphic storytelling series, Drawn to Art: Tales of Inspiring Women Artists. This project showcases web comics featuring underrepresented women artists and visionaries from SAAM’s collection. Through a collaboration with the Ringling College of Art and Design, talented student-illustrators bring these stories to life.
The selection of ten women artists in this series demonstrates the incredible diversity within SAAM’s collection. From Barbara Jones-Hogu, who played a vital role in the Black power movement of the 1960s, to feminist artist Miriam Schapiro, who blurred the boundaries between art and craft, these extraordinary individuals have shattered barriers in their respective fields, inspiring others to do the same.
Stephanie Stebich, the Margaret and Terry Stent Director of the Smithsonian American Art Museum, emphasizes the significance of highlighting women artists: “Seeing the stories of women artists made central in this creative project from the nation’s preeminent museum of American art gives girls and women a chance to see themselves represented and to draw inspiration from these shared experiences.”
The project began in 2021, focusing on the lives of artists such as Berenice Abbott, Anni Albers, and Alma Thomas. Last year, an additional ten artists were celebrated, expanding the narrative to include figures like Jaune Quick-To-See-Smith and Kay WalkingStick. This year, the chosen artists embody a wide range of artistic practices, from weaving to mural painting.
The educational value of these web comics is enhanced the personal artistic styles of the Ringling College student-illustrators who beautifully capture the essence of each artist’s work. Over the next year, individual stories will be published, providing insights into the creation process from the illustrators themselves.
Ultimately, SAAM hopes that these comics not only inspire, but also prompt readers to explore the lives and works of these remarkable women artists. The determination and dedication they displayed in pursuing their art in the face of adversity is truly admirable. Art has the power to make a difference in our lives, and through these comics, SAAM invites us to reflect on how these artists can mirror our own experiences and inspire us to embrace new perspectives.
Join SAAM in celebrating these inspiring women artists sharing their stories with friends and young people in your life. Visit the Drawn to Art comics to embark on a captivating journey into the world of art and creativity.
– The Smithsonian American Art Museum
– The Ringling College of Art and Design