In this week of highlighting women and art on the blog, I believe it is important to remember the crucial financial support that the AAUW Art Contest offers our programming. Each year, the AAUW Art Contest mailing, which contains the winning entries on note cards or calendars, is sent to all members with a donation request to support our barrier-breaking work. Because the selected artwork is from members, the contest is a wonderful way for them to donate their talents to AAUW. And what talented members we have!
The winning pieces in the AAUW Art Contest are selected by members and a panel of past winners. 2010 contest winner Phyllis Swonk, a member of the AAUW Ann Arbor (MI) Branch and a retired art teacher, agreed to donate her time and expertise by judging the 2011 contest. “I look[ed] for good composition, a quality of technique, and also for the extra something that is hard to put in words that the art in some way makes a special connection to me on an emotional level,” she said.
Caroline Sanchez, an AAUW Danville-Alamo (CA) Branch member and 2010 contest winner, has participated for the past two years. “I was so excited when I heard I had won. I told my family that we have 100,000 members, and my painting was one of those picked. I also was grateful to our branch members that took the time to support me … It was a great tribute and very exciting to see my work printed.” Her 2011 submission was selected by AAUW staff to raise funds through ShopAAUW. Look for the note cards featuring her work on ShopAAUW starting next week!
Both Swonk and Sanchez were drawn to the idea of art as an avenue for donation to AAUW. “I have never entered my work in contests or art exhibits before, so this gives me a good place to compete while helping AAUW,” said Sanchez.
Swonk said, “I knew the selected artwork would be used as a fundraiser, and I am very committed to the idea of my work furthering the cause for AAUW to further education for women here and abroad. … I also felt the first piece I submitted was one of the better photos I had ever taken and wanted to share it with the membership.” Both women agree that this year’s art submissions contain a nice variety of intriguing compositions.
The online galleries of 2012 submissions and past winners are easy to view on AAUW’s website. Don’t forget — each time you vote, you will be automatically entered into a drawing to win one of 10 $25 certificates to ShopAAUW. This year, the six contest winners will be featured on note cards that will be sent to all AAUW members in April! If you are not yet an AAUW member or haven’t renewed your membership, now is the perfect time to join and guarantee that you receive these unique AAUW note cards featuring your favorite art submissions!
This post was written by AAUW Donor Communications Intern Sarah Spencer.
This week, AAUW Dialog is celebrating women in the arts. In addition to the stories published here, members can vote for their six favorite works of art in our online gallery each week through March 4, and everyone can participate in the AAUW Thumbs-up Award contest on Facebook through March 6. Art week culminates in a March 1 event in Washington, D.C., at the National Museum of Women in the Arts.