With Feature from the Olean Times Herald ~by Deb Wuethrich
At WomenArts.org; The organizer of this SWAN Event, Sheila L. Kalkbrenner, shared her thoughts about this event:
“There is so much inspiring art happening locally! As a member of the Wellsville Art Association, The Allegany Arts Association, Founder of the Belfast Organization for Artists (BOFA),Creator and Manager of the Art For Arachnoiditis Project, Participant in the Allegany Artisans Studio Tour (2013), and Follower of the Cattaraugus County Arts Council, I wanted to do an event that invites “new” artists to show and sell their work, as well as, provide an opportunity to promote, support, and celebrate the creative women who step up to make these local groups a success AND the Local Creative Women who simply don’t have the time to participate in these groups.
I am inspired by the community action and creative works of local artists like Wendy Skinner, Eleanor Cott, Allison Midgley, Pat Gay, Kristen Kruger, Kathryn Garrison and so many more that I cannot list them here. Additionally, I am perpetually in awe of works by Women Artists like Maya Lin and Louise Bourgeois and I think, if given the right support; we have artists here who have the potential to be as successful as they have been.
As a Belfast Organization for Artists activity, I began a local call for SWAN Day ideas and participants in 2013. The 2014 SWAN Party was hosted by the Fountain Arts Center in Belmont,NY. As it has expanded into SWAN Days (more than one day of activities); This is the biggest SWAN Day activity I have done to date.
I am looking forward to seeing the work that comes in for this and I would love to see this grow into a more well-known County Event which, I think, will attract more attention for our very talented Male Artists as well.
Historically, male artists who chose a professional creative path had an established support network in place on their journey. Although the numbers are slowly improving, women artists still frequently lack the support network needed to succeed in their creative endeavors while meeting the many demands and obligations of our modern society.”
With the right support, I believe this Event has a lot of potential to grow to become a future community activity which will attract visitors (and shoppers) to a our small town full of hidden talent and natural assets. As funding increases, I will be seeking larger centrally located venues to host the event and encouraging local women artists to do a SWAN Salon style art event of their own during SWAN Days.