Oregon WCA Artists

“Sketches From the 2018 WCA Conference” by Parmalee Cover

WCA 2018 Lifetime acheivement award poster

2018 WCA Conference DoubleTree Hotel, downtown Los Angeles CA Thursday – Sunday February 22- 25

by Parmalee Cover, Oregon WCA, copyright 2018
First off, my observations are sketches since they are limited to one day and a half at the conference. Here I report from the side-lines some auspicious things I didn’t expect.
I arrived at LAX Friday afternoon to an unwelcoming wind chill of 40F and no rides – a police motorcycle was knocked over in the cab lane where I was at Arrivals.
I was too tired and late for that day’s conference events but then I was present only for the thrill of seeing my friend, filmmaker, technology in art innovator and outspoken feminist, Lynn Hershman Leeson mount the stage to be handed her much deserved WCA Lifetime Achievement Award —
Somehow in the process of hanging out and exchanging views with other WCA members, especially at the Celebration dinner, I myself was awarded. There it was –  a new resolve by us women artists to act as a united force in counteracting today’s appalling trends. The top travesty, according to women I spoke with, is the use of military weapons to shoot school children.
WCA’s theme of “Art Speaks, Lend Your Voice” was more than apt. At the Awards Saturday evening in Doubletree’s Golden State auditorium, WCA President, Susan M. King, opened the Ceremony, with an electric statement.

“We are outraged,” she said concerning  the harm that has been “brought about under Trump.” She spoke of, what she termed, the administrations assault on Women. The four women to be presented Lifetime Achievement Awards tonight are “Those who have been shut out, told to shut up and still they persisted,” she said.

In their spoken essays on stage, Award Winners voiced their personal struggles with creating works based on their own cultural vision. They told of extreme barriers  to being taken seriously in the art world defined by men.

WCA Conference 2018 4 Attendees,” by angelahanart: “My light shines brightly because of these Creative Women, who warmly took me by the hand and showed me the kindness I am destined to share with the next generation of women artists. From left to right Marilyn Duzy, Annalise Jarvis-Hansen, and Elizabeth Addison.”

Author, surrealist, and eco activist, Dr. Gloria Orenstein, was the first award winner on stage. She spoke eloquently  of her friendships with other pioneering women, including Leonora Carrington and Anais Nin. She shared with them a “traversing of many dark worlds in search for knowledge.” She closed her verbal essay by welcoming the new generations of artists “expanding the feminist legacy.”

WCA Conference 2018 waiters” photo by Parmalee Cover, copyright 2018

Gloria’s legendary devotion in creating legacy was echoed by Renee Stout, also a Lifetime  Achievement Award winner for her extensive body of works that  interweaves African and American African cultures. Her statement summed up the driving force behind her art. “I hope that my work tells the story of our times so that future generations make sense of it all.”
My take away from the WCA conference is that we women as artists are in the unique position to make the artifacts that influence, turn the tide, and re-define the world so that there is a world both today and tomorrow that makes sense. Art Speaks!

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