Exhibit Featuring Work of Women Artists Opens at Alexandria’s Athenaeum May 4

“As an artist, when the Dobbs decision came out, I felt powerless and constrained. The only way to do something positive to keep the message live and relevant about the gross inequality, was to focus my artwork, even more intently, on women’s struggles.” Kirsty Little, “Gaia,” wire, wood, found wood, 33” x 10” x 22” (All photos courtesy NVFAA)

ALEXANDRIA, VA – The work of three visionary artists is coming to the Athenaeum. A new exhibit, “Women’s Work,” opens May 4 and runs through June 11.

“Women’s Work” highlights the creativity of Kirsty Little, Donna McCollough, and Kathryn McDonnell. Each, according to the press release, uses “non-traditional media to explore” the role of women in the arts and society. The three woemen have united for this exhibit because each of their distinct styles have a common thread.

“The dresses are my vehicle of choice to express my ongoing theme of being a woman in the workplace and in the world. They are totally created of various metals from steel to aluminum screening (skirts). I chose metal for its strength and it malleability. The dresses represent protective armor from abuse and lack of equal treatment in the work place.” Donna McCullough, “Daphne,” 35” x 16” x 13”, steel and aluminum screening

“It’s shows like this Athenaeum Gallery project,” said Little, “that will hopefully contribute to the end of the dismal percentage of women represented in museums. Currently standing at 13 percent versus men at 87 percent.”

My series of hanging paintings, titled ‘Proof of Life’ and ‘AI Faces’ explores how the global image of women portrayed in the media and social media reflects their status and the lack of equality they face in the world. Through my artwork, I seek to pay tribute to women who have been kidnapped, sold, or taken against their will, honoring their resilience and strength. Kathryn McDonnell, “AI Faces” (detail) 12”w x 52”h x 6”d, acrylic paint, plexiglass, mylar, monofilament, metal

The Athenaeum (201 Prince St.) is the headquarters of the Northern Virginia Fine Arts Association. Since its founding in 1964, the NVFAA has worked to promote excellence in all art forms and create programs that cultivate an interest in art in the wider community.

A reception is scheduled for May 7 from 4 to 6 p.m. A discussion with the artists will take place June 11 at 2 p.m.

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Kevin Dauray

Kevin is Publisher's Assistant with The Zebra Press. He has been working for Alexandria's "Good News" newspaper since 2019. A graduate of George Mason University, he earned a bachelor's in English with a concentration in Creative Writing. He also studied at the Columbia School of Broadcasting and holds a master's degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Marymount University. He is an alumnus of T.C. Williams High School. Go Titans!

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