Women only* at the Lowe

*guys are allowed, too

Over the next five weeks, University of Miami students and the Miami community will have a unique opportunity to experience a diverse variety of art from female artists around the world.

“Women Only! In Their Studios” is a new exhibit which started on Feb. 15 and will run until March 30 in the Lowe Art Museum on campus at 1301 Stanford Drive.

According to a press release on the event, the viewer will be “invigorated by a rich modern American tapestry since the artists are culturally as diverse as the strands that make up our great melting pot: white, black, American Indian, Chicano, Chinese, Jewish and Christian.”

Twenty artists’ works will be on display.

One artist in particular, Grace Hartigan, has been painting oil canvases for over 50 years. In 1958 she was the only woman in the historical exhibit “The New American Painting.”

Miriam Schapiro, an abstract artist, has been working since 1970 to change the perceptions of women artists.

Jaune Quick-to-See Smith, an American Indian from the Flathead Reservation in Montana, uses her painting and printmaking to teach society about her American Indian views and, according to a pamphlet on the exhibition, “to address our human and political condition.”

Of all the artists in the exhibition, Faith Ringgold may be the most recognizable to the majority of UM students. Ringgold’s children’s books, including the award-winning 1988 Tar Beach, are commonplace in elementary schools across the country. Her art varies from paintings to sculptures to story quilts that reflect her own experiences dating back to her own childhood.

Artist Linda Freeman and exhibition curator Eleanor Flomenhaft kicked the event off at 7 p.m. Feb. 15, with a lecture titled “Documentaries and Personal Work.”

The lecture, which was free to the public, was followed by a member’s preview reception Friday night which showcased the new art in addition to providing music and cocktails for everyone in attendance.

The show is yet another event on campus for students interested in the fine arts. It is very common to see familiar classmates at this reception, especially with the $5 and $7 ticket prices.

“The Lowe Art Museum provides a great opportunity for students to socialize in addition to experience some culture that they may otherwise not be exposed to,” said James Henderson, a sophomore who is a paying member of the museum.

In addition to the “Women Only” showcase, the Lowe is presenting a selection entitled “Labors of Love: Women Artists from the Permanent Collection.” Gita Shonek is the curator of the exhibition, which will stay on display throughout 2008.

Thomas Murphy may be contacted at t.murphy6@umiami.edu.