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Epsten Gallery's 'Women to Watch: 2015' Opening Reception Set For Feb. 8


Women to Watch: 2015

(Women, Nature & Art) 

Featured Artists:

Rain Harris, Diana Heise, Linda Lighton, Sonié Joi Ruffin and Lara Shipley 

Feb. 8 – March 22


Public Opening Reception:

Sunday, Feb. 8 from 1-4 p.m.

Gallery Talk with the Artists:

2-4 p.m.


The Epsten Gallery is pleased to present Women to Watch: 2015 (Women, Nature & Art), an exhibition organized in collaboration with the Greater Kansas City Area Committee of the National Museum of Women in the Arts.  

At the Epsten Gallery, Women to Watch: 2015 (Women, Nature & Art) features a dynamic range of work by five artists based in Kansas City –  Rain Harris, Diana Heise, Linda Lighton, Sonié Joi Ruffin and Lara Shipley.  The show presents multiple perspectives of women and their interwoven roles throughout history and within contemporary society.  Themes involving identity, beauty, violence, anguish, fear fantasy, authenticity and artificiality emerge within multi-media creations including ceramic sculpture, installation, video, textile and photography. 


Lara Shipley, Having Heard the Old Stories (from the series, Devil’s Promenade), 2013 Pigment print, Courtesy the artist

Women to Watch is an exhibition program, held every two to three years, developed specifically for the National Museum of Women in the Arts’ (NMWA) 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.  The program is designed to increase the visibility of – and critical response to – promising women artists who are deserving of national and international attention.  In addition, the program is aimed at involving high quality art professionals, with diverse areas of expertise, in the committees’ activities.  All active committees are invited to participate in this program.  Women to Watch provides and excellent opportunity to highlight the range and vibrancy of women artists working throughout the county, and the world at large, and bring them more visibility at NMWA. Virginia Treanor, Associate Curator at NMWA, selected Kansas City Artist, Lara Shipley, for the fourth Women to Watch exhibition at NMWA, Washington D.C., Organic Matters: Women to Watch 2015  (June 5 – Sept. 13). 

In Kansas City, artists were nominated by the following individuals to be considered for inclusion in the Women to Watch 2015 exhibition at the Epsten Gallery: Michael Baxley (Gallery Manager/Curator at Belger Arts Center/Red Star Studios), Kathy Aron Dowell (Director of Arts and Humanities Programming, Mid-America Arts Alliance), Elijah Gowin (Professor and Chair of the Department of Art and Art History at the University of Missouri-Kansas City), Glenn North (Poet in Residence and Education Specialist at the American Jazz Museum) and Stacy Switzer (Artistic Director, Grand Arts).  Catherine L. Futter (Helen Jane and R. Hugh “Pat” Uhlmann Senior Curator, Architecture, Design and Decorative Arts, Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art) served as Juror, making the final five selections from a pool of 12 nominees who submitted materials for the Epsten Gallery exhibition.  The additional 7 nominees include:  Caitlin Horsmon, Mary Kay Alison, Laura De Angelis, Tanya Hartman, Julie Farstad, Anne Austin Pearce and Cary Esser.