By Mary Weiss-Waldhorn
It has been a pleasure to work with Sandra Davis over the last year and a half to plan the “Why I Vote” exhibit at Bohrer Park in Gaithersburg, Maryland. Art can have many identities and one of its most powerful ones is to create space for viewers to deal with thought provoking ideas and issues and even controversial ones. The times in which we live could definitely be designated as turbulent and we all have a responsibility to step up to the plate and make our voices heard as to what we think is the best direction for our country and world to take.
One of the biggest issues that we face in our country is that of Equality. That word should be synonymous with the attitudes and ideas presented in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, but Equality is a word of evolution and change. It is not a stagnant word.
The “Why I Vote” exhibit is a way to show art work where women are grasping for equality or their place at the table in this great nation. Voting is a revered right of all qualified adults in this country and it is amazing that women had to claw their way to have their voices heard at the ballot box. Incredibly, women have only had that privilege in the last 100 years of the United States’ 243 year history.
After great organizational planning and lots of blood, sweat and tears by many courageous women, the ratification of Amendment 19 to the Constitution became official on August 18, 1920. In celebration of this, the City of Gaithersburg in collaboration with the Women’s Caucus of Art, D.C. Chapter has produced a juried and invitational show that tries to represent some of the issues that women consider important.
Anne Burton, Curator of Art for the Black Rock Center for the Arts juried the exhibit and to assure more inclusivity Mary and Sandra also invited 14 artists to participate in the show.
The show is open to the public from 1-4pm, Monday through Friday and a virtual exhibit is presented online by the Women’s Caucus of Art, D.C. Chapter and Arts on the Green through the City of Gaithersburg. A panel discussion featuring some of the participating artists is also planned to livestream on YouTube and Facebook on Sunday, October 4 from1:30-2:30 pm. The panel will be moderated by Sandra Davis. Our artist participants are Lily Kak, Andrea McCluskey, Francine Stowe-Sinkler and Rosa Ines Vera. Janine da Silva will be participating as a member of the National Association of Colored Women’s Clubs and a member from the League of Women Voters will be a panelist as well.
Some topics you can view at the exhibit deal with our world’s environment and its many challenges, immigration, civil rights, women’s rights, the plight of the poor, gun violence and the consequences of the pandemic.
Our invited participating artists are: Astrid Adler, Tessa Barr, Sandra Davis, Cynthia Farrell Johnson, Lily Kak, Lauren Kingsland, Andrea McCluskey, Lea Craig Marshall, Terry Pellmar, Lisa Scheirer, Yolanda Prinsloo Schlipp, Linda Slattery Sherman, Francine Stowe Sinkler, and Sage Washington.
The twenty-five women artists juried in by Anne Burton are: Beth Altman, Linda Andrei, Alicia Y. Armstrong, Riley Arthur, Madison Bolls, Theresa Brown, Rosemary Fallon, Kim Foley, Juliet Hossain, Megan King, Linda Lowery, Greta Chapin McGill, Maria McLean, Bonnie MacAllister, Delia Mycajluk, Jane Pettit, Pauline Heidel Smith, Jeanne Sullivan, Bonita Tabakin, Ellen Maidman Tanner, Rosa Ines Vera, Deborah Walmer, Carol Williams and Jenny Wilson.