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Women’s Studio Center honors 3 woman artists

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The Women’s Studio Center, a Long Island City-based arts organization, presented three remarkable women artists with Elan awards March 31 at the National Arts Club.

This award is given to women who have demonstrated exceptional excellence throughout a lifetime of work in the arts and who, both by example and by advocacy, have enlarged the boundaries of women’s lives. The women who receive these awards have accomplished their own work with great aplomb and grace, and they have raised the standards for all artists in their disciplines. They have made new things possible for future generations of female artists by the obstacles they have overcome.

Award recipients Joan Arbeiter, Nancy Azara and Marilyn Hacker have made a difference through their craft, their activism and their courage. Arbeiter is an artist who focuses on people and the human condition. She was an active participant and intern at the New York Feminist Art Institute, which was in existence from 1979-1990, and continues to be an art educator after 25 years. She is a mentor and ardent advocate for women artists.

Azara is a sculptor and book artist who has shown her work in New York City, throughout the United States and abroad. Her spirituality infused sculpture is carved, assembled, and painted with gold and silver leaf and encaustic. She was a founder of the New York Feminist Art Institute in 1979, where she was on the board and conducted a workshop called “Consciousness Raising, Visual Diaries, Art Making” for many years. She has been a visiting artist in both the United States and Europe, most recently at the Bogliasco Foundation, Genoa, Italy, and at Chikraneketan in South India (State of Kerala).

Hacker is the author of several books of poetry, including “Desesperanto: Poems 1999-2002,” “First Cities: Collected Early Poems 1960-1979,” “Squares and Courtyards,” “Winter Numbers,” which won the Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize and a Lambda Literary Award, and “Presentation Piece,” which was the Lamont Poetry Selection of The Academy of American Poets and a National Book Award winner. Hacker was editor of “The Kenyon Review” from 1990 to 1994, and has received numerous honors, including the Bernard F. Conners Prize from “The Paris Review,” the John Masefield Memorial Award of the Poetry Society of America, and fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation and the Ingram Merrill Foundation.

Women’s Studio Center is a not-for-profit fine art studio dedicated to creating a safe and nurturing environment that fosters creativity for both visual artists and writers founded five years ago by its president and executive director, Melissa Wolf. They will mark their fifth year of growth by moving into a new 2,500-square-foot space with increased capacity for studio space, workshops and exhibitions at 44th Avenue and 22nd Street in Long Island City.

For further information about Women’s Studio Center, log on to www.womenstudiocenter.org.

Posted 7:03 pm, October 10, 2011
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