Women to Watch

The Women to Watch exhibit program was developed by the National Museum of Women in the Arts to feature underrepresented and emerging women artists from the states and countries in which the museum has outreach committees or affiliates. NMWA curators select the theme and affiliates invite nationally approved local arts professionals to guest curate submissions to the national museum exhibit.

The international Women to Watch curated exhibition in Washington, D.C., affords an Arkansas woman artist national visibility, press and curatorial connections. An invited Arkansas arts professional curates Arkansas submission(s) to national and a state Women to Watch tour of all nominees.

Arkansas Women to Watch 2023: New Worlds

NMWA Thomas Field

Arkansas Women to Watch 2023: New Worlds is the latest exhibit in the Women to Watch exhibition series, conceived by the National Museum of Women in the Arts in Washington, D.C. It is the only major museum worldwide solely dedicated to championing women through the arts.

W2W was created specifically for NMWA’s 29 U.S. regional and international affiliated committees, including the Arkansas Committee of the National Museum of Women in the Arts.

Since 2010, ACNMWA has participated in every W2W exhibition, which, says MaryRoss Taylor, president of the Committee, “provides national and international museum recognition for more women artists including an Arkansas artist every time.”

Chaney Jewell, then Curator of Collections and Exhibitions at The Arts and Science Center for Southeast Arkansas in Pine Bluff, nominated four artists whose work embodies the New Worlds theme of Migration or Stagnation of an Individual, Environmental Changes, Physical or Emotional Growth of an Individual and Imaginary Worlds:

One of these artists, along with artists representing the other 28 committees, will be selected to have their work exhibited at NMWA in the spring of 2024. The Arkansas Committee is the only affiliate of the national museum to organize a statewide tour of work by its nominees to the NMWA exhibition. Each tour has been seen by an average of 5,000 Arkansans across the state. 

2023 Tour Schedule

January 17 – March 4
Gallery of Art & Design, Windgate Art + Design Building, University of Arkansas-Fort Smith

March 20 – April 28
South Arkansas Arts Center, El Dorado

May 19 – August 20
Arts & Science Center for Southeast Arkansas, Pine Bluff

August 24 – October 13
Baum Gallery, University of Central Arkansas, Conway

Curator Statement – Chaney Jewell

Anaïs Dassé depicts a fallen world, a society made of tribes of children. Dassé voices, within these imaginary doomsday scenes, her concerns regarding how humanity lives beside the natural environment with little regard for the longevity of our culture or natural habitats.

Hannah McBroom explores themes of transgender identity, materiality, and the body. McBroom reflects the process of her transition, the metamorphosis of her outer self, and how the world perceives her, more accurately reflecting her inner self.

Aimée Papazian’s piece Which End Is Up? was created during the pandemic while in isolation with her family. As a result, Papazian produced an imaginary landscape, allowing her conception of the world to grow as her experiences with the outer world shrank.

Heidi Carlsen-Rogers’s By a Thread series analyzes how the world as we know it is disappearing; our environment crumbling around us. Vegetation portrayed is beautiful but frayed, as large amounts of string appear to fall from the tapestry.

Past Exhibits

Of thirty State and National Committees of NMWA, only the Arkansas Committee organizes a statewide traveling exhibition of the nominees for NMWA’s periodic Women to Watch exhibition. We proudly recognize all the artists who have been highlighted in Women to Watch state tours in the past.

Guest curator: Allison Glenn, Crystal Bridges Museum. At NMWA: Joli Livaudais. Arkansas tour: Kim Brewer, Joli Livaudais, Linda Nguyen Lopez, Suzannah Schreckhise
Click here to download the exhibit brochure.

Guest curator: Matthew Smith, Arkansas Arts Center, Little Rock. At NMWA: Holly Laws. Arkansas tour: Michele Fox, Amanda Heinbockel, Robyn Horn, Holly Laws.
Click here to download the exhibit brochure.

Guest curator: Courtney Taylor, Arts & Science Center of Southeast Arkansas, Pine Bluff. At NMWA: Dawn Holder. Arkansas tour: Dawn Holder, Sandra Luckett, Katherine Rutter, Melissa Wilkinson.
Click here to download the exhibit brochure.

Guest Curator: Caroline S. Brown. At NMWA: Louise Halsey. Arkansas tour: Barbara Cade, Jennifer Libbey Fay, Louise Halsey, Jane Hartfield, Deborah Kuster
Click here to download the exhibit brochure.

Guest Curator: Les Christensen, Arkansas State University, Jonesboro. At NMWA: Nikki Hemphill. Arkansas tour: Janet Frankovic, Endia Gomez, Nikki Hemphill, Thu Nguyen, Ruth Pasquine, Deborah Warren, Emily M. Wood