Two local artists are currently participating in a national art show through September 11 at www.herstoryinamerica.org. While the exhibit, “Her Story in America, An Art Show Celebrating Influential Women in American History,” is based in Sausalito, California, it is also a virtual exhibit for all to enjoy.
Nancy Tankersley and Barrie Barnett live in Talbot County, and both are primarily portrait painters, observers of human gestures and interactions. They each majored in sociology in college and share a keen interest in community and activism.
Nancy met Caroline Orrick, a San Francisco Bay artist, while teaching a workshop in France and through Caroline was invited to participate in this exhibit. Barrie knew Anne Garden, the exhibit organizer, from having had a studio in the same building when she did a sabbatical in California. Through Anne, she was invited to participate.
Women artists across the U.S. have enjoyed increasing chances to collaborate even though they may be separated geographically. The internet has allowed them to communicate with other artists around the world, and the explosion of workshops for the Boomer Generation has been another factor in forging friendships.
Nancy, a contemporary impressionist, branched off into landscapes through her participation in the plein air movement while maintaining her interest in figures. Barrie, a classical realist, branched off from painting portraits primarily of people to painting all members of the family, including their four-legged companions.
Both artists were allowed to express the subject, a portrait of an influential American woman, in any way they wanted, as long as it had a square format. They crafted the portraits in their own signature styles, using the background for political expression.
Nancy, imagining that Justice O’Connor might be looking askance at what recent years have done to our judicial system, has painted the scales of justice and the flag upside down.
Barrie, imagining our current Secretary of the Treasury, Janet Yellen, as a coin face icon, replaced the words “in God We Trust” with “in Janet We Trust.” Her goal was to stress that powerful leaders can rise to the top using collaborative, consensus-building style, warmth and humility while building bi-partisan support in the process.
Exhibit organizer Anne Garden says, “Barrie’s portrait of Janet Yellen done in one of her signature pastel stylings with a touch of humor in the composition, shows the powerful yet quiet personality of a woman whose guidance of our US treasury has inspired awe in us all. Nancy’s portrait of Sandra Day O’Connor, our first female Supreme Court Justice, shows a woman of intelligence and understanding painted in a loose self-assured style using a bold palette.”
Anne added, “I am thrilled that I was able to get two very accomplished female artists from the eastern seaboard area of the U.S. to volunteer their talents to this worthwhile show and cause. We thank you for creating these pieces for a show that is meant to educate all of us and honor the legacies of all these women who have contributed to our progress in America.”
“Her Story in America, An Art Show Celebrating Influential Women in American History,” may be viewed online at www.herstoryinamerica.org or in person through September 11 at the Bay Model Visitor Center, 2100 Bridgeway, Sausalito, California.