ArtWorks Center celebrates women

Published 6:10 am Saturday, January 4, 2020

“…if you are free, you need to free somebody else. If you have some power, then your job is to empower somebody else.”  —Toni Morrison (1931-2019)

Nationally, women in the arts earn almost $20,000 less annually than men doing the same work; similar to the gender pay gap in other fields (Lindemann, Lehigh University).

The record for female artwork sold at an auction is less than half of the record for a male artist (National Museum of Women in the Arts).

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Men hold the majority (75 percent) of museum directorships, with women only holding about one-quarter of them (National Museum of Women in the Arts).

The ArtWorks Center is hosting “The Year of the Woman” featuring exhibits by seven emerging and established female artists in the 2nd Floor Gallery.

This celebrates 2020 as the 100-year anniversary of women’s right to vote and acknowledges the challenges of pay equity, bias and violence still faced by women. A Creative Minnesota report stated that female artists receive only 50 percent on the dollar of what male artists are paid in rural Minnesota. We hope you will join us in celebrating and supporting the work of women in the arts this year.

The year kicks off with a show featuring Emily Lavalier, Cora Feist and Cynder Higgins which open on Friday, Jan. 10 and closes Friday, March 27. All are welcome to celebrate the free opening reception from 5-7 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 10. Artists will be present to discuss their work and light refreshments are provided.

Emily Lavalier is a self-taught collage artist residing in Minneapolis Her high-density collage style begins with a hand drawn sketch covered by layers of paper from recycled magazines, thrift store children’s books, and found objects. Each original is uniquely three-dimensional and takes anywhere from 200 to 500 hours to complete. Lavalier earned a degree in communications from the University of Wisconsin, Madison and works as an employment consultant for Hammer Residences, helping adults with disabilities find gainful employment. Lavalier exhibited at the 2019 Austin ArtWorks Festival where she won a Visual Artists Committee Award.

Cora Feist is a ninth-grader at Austin High School. Cora says that oil painting is her favorite medium and, “I love starting new paintings and discovering where they will go.” Feist won an award at the student exhibit at the Austin ArtWorks Festival in 2019. In addition to her talents in a variety of visual art mediums, Feist was a finalist for the 2018 Richard Eberhart Poetry Contest.

Cynder Higgins is a senior at Austin High School. She is also enrolled in post-secondary classes at Riverland Community College. Higgins won awards in the student exhibit at Austin ArtWorks Festival in 2018 and 2019. She will be exhibiting a variety of media including photography, water color, ceramic and mixed media.

“My art often represents the perpetual history a subject has and how it exists within its environment,” Cynder said.

The gallery schedule for 2020 at the ArtWorks Center includes the Youth Show (April 3 to May 15), Austin Area Arts Staff Show (May 22 to June 12), Melinda Wolff, Watercolor and Stained Glass and Flor Soto, Pinata (June 19 to August 21), Lori Biwer-Stewart, Printmaking and Tamara Schneider, Painting (Sept. 11 to Oct. 23) and the Member Show (Nov. 6, 2020 to Jan. 8, 2021).

Coming Soon

Paramount Theatre

  • Jan. 25: $5 Movie: “Summer School,” 3 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.

Austin ArtWorks Center

  • Tuesday: Open Studio, 5:30-7:30 p.m. (new)
  • Thursday: Basic Wheel Throwing Bowls with John Sullivan, 5:30pm
  • Friday: Gallery opening with Emily Lavalier, Cynder Higgins and Cora Feist, 5-7 p.m.
  • Jan. 11: $5 Kids Studio: Three Kings Hanging Garland, 10:30 a.m.; Free Family Art Studio, 1-3 p.m.
  • Jan. 18: $5 Kids Studio: Snowperson Pinch Pots (clay), 10:30 a.m.; Fused Glass Snowflakes, 1 p.m.
  • Jan. 24: ArtRocks Open Jam Session, 7-9:30 p.m.
  • Jan. 25: Kids Studio: Pastel Polar Bears, 10:30 a.m.

More information is available at