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Women to Watch 2019-2020

Women to Watch is an exhibition program, held every two to three years, developed specifically for NMWA’s national and international outreach committees. Each of these exhibitions features emerging and underrepresented women artists from the states and countries in which the museum has outreach committees.

Women to Watch 2020 is the sixth installment of NMWA’s exhibition series that features emerging or underrepresented artists from the states or countries in which the museum has outreach committees. It will be presented in NMWA’s temporary exhibition space on the second floor, and will be on view from mid-October through mid-January of 2021. Georgia artist Lucha Rodriguez will represent the Georgia Committee.

The exhibition will focus on the transformation of paper into complex works of art. Paper is a ubiquitous medium that is made from a variety of materials, and the artists represented by the national and international committees in Women to Watchwill exemplify this variety of production. To reveal the broad range of possibilities of paper art, works in the exhibition may be delicate and light as seen in the suspended cut-out tapestries of Tomoko Shioyasu, or dense and heavy like Jae Ko’s built environments. They may use innovative technology similar to Nazgol Ansarinia’s 3-D printed architectural forms made of paper pulp, or employ more traditional methods like Liliana Porter’s tromp-l’oeil effects that obfuscate reality between the image and the physical surface of the paper. Paper can also speak to more personal reflections; Ursula von Rydingsvard infuses objects of sentimental attachment into her handmade paper, while Maren Hassinger twists and shapes newspapers as politically-charged symbols.

Women to Watch 2020 will demonstrate that paper is not always the overlooked support for drawings, prints, and photographs, but instead a medium in and of itself. Other examples of contemporary artists who create paper art include Karla Black, Nathalie Boutté, Zoe Bradley, Ambreen Butt, Tara Donovan, Rebecca Hutchinson, Asya Kozina, Howardena Pindell, Jasmin Sian, Kara Walker, and Kumi Yamashita.

In Georgia, five female artists working in paper will be selected for an upcoming show at MOCA GA  as well as promote them on our website and in the media to further our mission of supporting NMWA and bringing national and international attention to Georgia Women artists. The show at MOCA GA will run from January 25, 2020- March 7, 2020. 

From left to right: Jerushia Graham, Sanaz Haghani, Imi 
Hwangbo, Lucha Rodriguez and Whitney Stansell. Photo by Angela West

2019-20 Georgia Women to Watch

Jerushia Graham

Using a single sheet of black cotton paper mounted on white artist board, Graham’s series “Undercurrents” explores the discontent, unrest, and tension felt by many in an increasingly polarized society. A widening socio-economic divide, daily injustices perpetrated towards anyone who is perceived as “other,” and the continued struggle for gender equality fuel frustrations that lie just beneath the surface of our daily interactions. “Undercurrents” expresses this slow burning unrest and an uneasiness about the future.

Sanaz Haghani

Born and raised in Iran, Haghani recently received her MFA in printmaking at the University of Georgia. Haghani’s incisive, deeply engaging work examines women’s role in Iranian culture and how the hijab, social class and other forces keep women’s behavior and freedom in check.

Imi Hwangbo

Drawing on her Korean heritage, University of Georgia professor and Dartmouth and Stanford graduate Hwangbo’s works on paper are based on Korean wrapping cloths, called pojagi. These four-cornered cloths, which are used for wrapping, carrying or covering objects, are often decorated with geometric patterns and floral motifs.

Lucha Rodriguez

In her “Knife Drawings” series, Caracas, Venezuela-born Rodriguez uses hand-cut paper, watercolor and the play of light to create remarkable topographies, like scars or the play of wind on sand. Using as many as 10,000 individual, superficial cuts on paper, each cut is meant to redirect light across the surface of the paper, creating subtle areas of shadow which react to environmental lighting conditions. A monochromatic wash of watercolor similarly uses a simple effect to create incredible color variations.

Whitney Stansell

Evoking paper dolls and vintage school primers, College Park-based artist Whitney Stansell’s work taps into a potent vein of personal family history and what she calls “the rich Southern tradition of storytelling and the way stories and histories must be pieced together and solidified…and passed along.” Stansell uses delicate, whimsical drawings to chronicle the winding road of her family’s past.