Monday, October 24, 2016

Call for Entries
Women's Caucus for Art District of Columbia Chapter Juried Show: Believing is Seeing
 DEADLINE: NOV 3, 2016
The Women's Caucus for Art - District of Columbia Chapter has issued a call for entries for a juried show that opens on December 2, 2016 at Artists and Makers Galleriesin Rockville, MD. Rebecca Cross, owner of the Cross MacKenzie Gallery in Georgetown, will jury the show.
Women artists working in all 2D and 3D media may submit up to three works of art by midnight, November 3, 2016. Juror notification is on November 16, 2016. The show will run through December 20, 2016 with an opening reception on December 2, 2016 from 6-9pm at   Artists and Makers Galleries, 11810 Parklawn Drive, Rockville, MD (Rear Entrance).

All accepted work must be wired and ready to hang. All sculpture must be moveable, 75lb. maximum weight. Pedestals will be provided unless a special type is needed. Upon acceptance there will be a $45 per artist hanging fee to be paid once work is juried into the show. Non-members must join to have their juried work in the show. The commission for artwork sold in the gallery is 25%. Using this link: submit up to 3 jpgs, 300dpi, approximately 4" x 6". Any work submitted must not have been in a WCA-DC show in 2015/2016. Artists will be notified of acceptance by email. Be advised that Artists and Makers Galleries does not carry insurance. Individual artists must self-insure if they want insurance.

Deadline for Entries: Midnight, November 3, 2016
 Notification of Work Accepted: November 16, 2016
Drop Off of Work: November 28, 2016, 10-4pm
Opening Reception: December 2, 2016; 6-9pm
Show Closes: December 20, 2016
Pick Up Work: December 21, 2016

Dialog: A Visual Conversation
Oct 30, 2016- Jan 5, 2017
Dennis and Phillip Ratner Museum
10001 Old Georgetown Road, Bethesda MD

Spotlight On

Bonnie MacAllister, Income Maintenance Caseworker and Artist 

The women in Bonnie MacAllister's portraits gaze confidently out at the world. Her fine, colorful embroidery shows their optimism and potential.

MacAllister's embroidery has garnered attention in exhibits, shows, and articles in Philadelphia, Atlanta, and Washington, D.C.Now she's received statewide recognition, winning first place in the mixed media adult category in the Art: the Universal Language art contest for Pennsylvanians with disabilities. The contest is collaboration between the Department of Human Services, The Arc of Pennsylvania, Pennsylvania Mental Health Consumers' Association, Pennsylvania Statewide Independent Living Council, and the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts.

"Having disabilities gives people superpowers in art," said MacAllister, an income maintenance caseworker in Philadelphia. "Van Gogh had visions that no one else could see."

MacAllister's grandmother had taught her embroidery and knitting many years ago, but MacAllister took up embroidery in earnest in 2012."I used to paint and use a lot of potentially toxic materials. My husband had cancer, so I found a new way of expressing myself without toxic materials," she said. Her husband survived cancer and MacAllister realized that embroidery is lighter weight and easier to transport than painting. It's also therapuetic, MacAllister said. "I feel like it's healthier. I equate it to doing yoga. It's a mind and spirit as well as a physical action."

The Delaware Art Museum displayed one of her paintings, but she has had much more response to her embroidery, she said. Her wax and oil paintings were more abstract, while the embroidery pieces are portraits, she said.

I depict a lot of young women in different cultures: Michelle Obama, a quincinera, Malala. A lot of people across cultures, not just the U.S.," she said. "A lot of the people I'm doing the portraits of are children I worked with or know from Ethiopia or Philadelphia, people who have inspired me or influenced me to think about their futures."

For her art, MacAllister starts with raw wool from farmers and herders. She stretches and spins it into yarn on a handmade spinning wheel from a nonprofit in Tanzania. Then makes garments, bracelets, and felted fabric that she uses to embroider.

To create an embroidered portrait, MacAllister starts with a line drawing, then transfers it onto felt, then crafts a colorful image using embroidery thread. It takes her approximately a month to create a 4 x4 inch or 6 x 6 inch embroidery portrait.
"That's the way I process stress is to turn it into creative projects," she said. "I have those things that help me stay relaxed and that allow me to stay happy every day."

Before coming to DHS, MacAllister had a long career in teaching and in the arts and culture non-profit world. She taught with Teach for America for a year and was awarded a Fulbright-Hays grant to study history, culture, and migration for five months in Ethiopia. She was part of team of 14 American teachers who wrote the national curriculum on how to teach Ethiopia. She taught French and English in charter schools and a middle school, but always had an interested in civil service, she said.

“I am honored to work for the commonwealth. My job at DHS has offered me the opportunity to help Pennsylvania’s needy citizens,” MacAllister said. “This award is an honor to be recognized in my daily work life for having special abilities.”

MacAllister has shows coming up at the Wohlfarth Galleries in Washington, D.C.; iMPeRFeCT Gallery in Germantown, and Philadelphia Open Studio Tours East of Broad at the CultureWorks 1315 Walnut Street, Suite 320.

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