Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : September 4th 2016 Contents B3
SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 4, 2016
Twenty years ago one artist decid-
ed that women should have more
of a voice in the industry.
It was the birth of the Women in
Launched with just 25 members
on July 20, 1996, at the Normandie
Hotel, St Ann s, Fraulein Rudder was
at its helm.
The organisation has grown to
200-plus members to date. It also
boasts a connection with hundreds
of international women artists
through its website and Facebook
Current president of Women in
Art, Michelle Tappin-Davis, shared
some of that journey.
"She (Rudder) started this essen-
tially to promote the work of local
women artists in an industry that
has traditionally been weighted
against them," she said. Rudder was
president from 1996--2012.
Tappin-Davis said it s their annual
group exhibition members really look
This year that event comes off on
September 19, from 6 pm, at the
Gallery at Fine Art, Woodbrook. It
runs until October 1.
"Greater emphasis will also be
placed on the women artists in Toba-
go as well as increased participation
in events (there). This year s Tobago
Show for the Women in Art will
launch at the Art Gallery, Lowlands,
on October 14 and continue until
Concurrently with the launch of
this exhibition, the group will host
its annual weekend retreat in Tobago,
The organisation, she said, has
held true to Rudder s core vision.
Nerine Peters and Noreen Carring-
ton-Dickson carried that vision as
presidents from 2012 to May this
year, when Tappin-Davis took over.
"Fraulein wanted to and certainly
achieved the promotion of more of
an appreciation of art. Women got
the much-needed space to exhibit
their work, annually, an avenue to
develop the technical skills of its
members as well as aspiring girls
and boys. Then there is also the plus
of networking with women artists
worldwide, and participating in field
trips throughout our beautiful coun-
try, often inspiring new pieces of
artwork from members," she said.
With Tappin-Davis election, a
management team was also appoint-
ed to oversee the implementation of
several new initiatives.
In September, Women in Art will
showcase its new website, calling
cards for the brand and a written
declaration of its vision and mission.
In keeping with Rudder s intent
to instil and foster support for young
artists, next year s Women in Art
Biennial Art Competition for Sec-
ondary Schools will see the intro-
duction of a film category. The com-
petition will be launched in October
with results announced in March
"It is open to both boys and girls
and is designed to foster a healthy
competitive spirit among students,
provide incentives to continue mak-
ing art, enable students to meet and
exchange ideas, create an appreci-
ation of visual arts, but most of all,
it allows us to play our part in cre-
ating a culture of fairness and equal
opportunities for both girls and
boys," she said.
The group will also host a visual
arts SBA workshop at Hillview Col-
lege, where she is a visual arts
The intent is to provide students
with an opportunity to connect with
live artists as well as to complete
their assignments, she said.
The organisation will host its first
pre-Christmas dinner in November.
Carnival 2017 will see the group s
first offerings in the small band cat-
egory of Kiddies Carnival, followed
by the organisation s first family/
fun day, scheduled for the month of
"At this event, Women in Art will
offer free membership to all students
under 18 years," she said. In July, the
organisation hosts its very first AGM,
Rudder has a particular passion
for youths, as her artistic abilities
shone from as early as nine; she sold
her first piece of art just one year
Tappin-Davis, who grew up
exposed to art through her father s
active and dedicated involvement in
Carnival, in design and construction,
said she shares this same passion.
Both women are also accredited
with long and illustrious careers in
the art fraternity.
Tappin-Davis assured that this
shared passion, along with Women
in Art s growing, enthusiastic mem-
bership, will see the organisation
through its next 20 years.
More info: Visit the Women in
Art Facebook page or go to:
Women in Art
"Women got the
to exhibit their work,
annually, an avenue to
develop the technical
skills of its members
as well as aspiring girls
Croton by Abigail Sabeeney.
Tassa by Linda
There Must Be More by Ann Stapleton. IMAGES COURTESY WOMEN IN ART
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