Founded in 1921 in Laguna Beach, Women Painters West is a non-profit membership corporation with educational, benevolent, fraternal, and charitable objectives. Originally created under the name of The Woman’s Art Club of Southern California, the organization saw two name changes before officially becoming Women Painters West in 1983.
Many of Women Painters West’s early members were among the great early California women artists including notables Mabel Alvarez, Kathryn Leighton, Elsie Palmer Payne and Donna Norine Schuster, whose works were featured in the Autry Museum of Western Heritage special exhibition Independent Spirits — Women Painters of the American West, 1890-1945.
In recent years, Women Painters West has been composed of some 200 professional women artists working in all mediums committed to the practice of art. Women Painters West includes among its members art instructors in all levels of art education. Many members exhibit individually in galleries, museums, and universities and have been recognized and honored nationally and internationally. Membership is by application and juried selection.
As an educational and philanthropic association, Women Painters West has created a scholarship fund to award outstanding art students in the Southern California area to realize their academic and career potentials. In addition, our programs include philanthropic assistance to community art programs as well as enriching and enhancing members’ professional opportunities.These programs build on Women Painters West’s goal of assisting in the development of emerging artists throughout the community.
WPW is committed to supporting the artistic and professional growth of its membership by:
- Providing active fellowship and educational programs for professional artists wishing to grow creatively and to increase productivity in a supportive artistic community;
- Maintaining high standards of work by requiring a juried selection process for both membership and exhibit participation;
- Enhancing members’ professional profiles and public exposure by offering quality exhibit venues;
- Providing philanthropic aid contributing to the development of emerging artists (students) and the arts community.
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