Our President's Message
President since December, 2019
As anyone can imagine, I am so honored to have been elected President of Women of Visions, Inc. Working with this talented, diverse group of women of color at such a pivotal time in our history is invigorating. We celebrate our 40th Anniversary next year. Every member has been asked to create the most exciting visual works of art our organization has ever produced. It's an art boom we will showcase in various exhibitions throughout 2021. It seems not long ago, our founders envisioned a group where black women could collectively express their culture. Today, as a long time member, I see WOV's potential as limitless! Our Executive Committee and our entire membership enthusiastically volunteers time and energy, and embraces the years of hard work and dedication that have defined our non profit. Please plan to attend our events when you can; support us with your donations as you can. We look forward to surprising you!
Meet Our Members
Lynne b. is a mix media artist, independent curator and music archivist. "I work with found objects and I like to layer, collage and re-purpose things. As a mix media artist, I go wherever my work leads me."
The process of creating mixed media mono-type prints has allowed me to try many different methods of using color, shape, text and more recently texture which lead me in the direction of developing a much different and more exciting colorful abstract prints.
My work often folded, torn, and frequently printed with text continues to reflect my interest in color, shape, form and language.
Exploring and experimenting continues to Inform the final outcome which have been referred to as multicolored folded cloth or philosophical road maps.
Ruth Bedeian is an artist whose work is primarily in fibers, even though she has a background in painting, calligraphy, and design. Her focus for many years has been quilting. Through her quilts she tries to explore her African American heritage, using images and metaphors that explores the culture heritage of Africa. Much of her influence comes by way of a love of the literature of African American writers and the images evoked through the stories they tell. The poetry of Jean Toomer or Langston Hughes as well as the novels of Zora Neale Hurston were just as impactful as the collages of Romare Bearden and the paintings of Jacob Lawrence.
Christine Bethea is an award-winning visual artist, Teaching Artist and a 20 year veteran of arts administration, who has worked with national organizations, nonprofits and local governments to advance the visibility of Pittsburgh through its arts community. Her work as a Western Pennsylvania quilter has been archived by the Senator John Heinz History Center, a Smithsonian Affiliate. Selected to showcase at the 100th Folklorist Conference in Baltimore, Bethea's film on immigrate settlement, was both shot and edited by Bhutanese teens from BCAP and sponsored by the Pittsburgh Office of Public Art and NEA Bethea is a popular Teaching Artist whose mediums include: fiber, painting, glass, ceramic and mixed media assemblage.
Tina Williams Brewer is an internationally recognized fiber artist known for her artistic exploration of African American history and issues related to family, women and children, and cultural spirituality.
Brewer’s inspiring quilts have been exhibited in Europe, Africa, Australia, and Asia as well as numerous venues across the United States. Her work is included in the permanent collections of The State Museum of Pennsylvania, in Harrisburg, PA, The Westmoreland Museum of American Art, in Greensburg, PA, the African American Museum in Dallas, TX, the Huntington Museum of Art in Huntington WV, and the United States Embassy in Khartoum, Sudan.
Brewer was honored by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Governor’s Awards for the Arts, as Artist of the Year, 2018; is a Master Visual Artist for the Pittsburgh region in 2014; received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Pittsburgh Center for the Arts in 2009; and the Huntington Museum of Art Walter Grouper Award in 2006. She earned a Bachelor of Arts from Columbus College of Art and Design, Columbus, Ohio.
Mayota Hill is a self-taught abstract fiber artist living in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. She began her craft in 2005. Her work is captured in multi-media collage presentations that are displayed on canvas, metal, wire, and other surfaces. Her recent work employs self-made ceramic items mounted on fiber-covered canvas. She also makes self-designed wall quilts.
Hill was one of eight artists nominated for the Pittsburgh Center for the Arts, Emerging Artist of the Year 2010. Also, in that year, she was a second prize winner of a Small Art Works exhibition sponsored by the Pittsburgh Society of Artists at the Borelli-Edwards Gallery, Pittsburgh, PA, and held a solo exhibition titled, A fixation on Fiber, at Mattehws Art Gallery, Bellevue, PA. She has had work juried into the annual Art of the State Exhibition which is held at the State Museum of Pennsylvania, Harrisburg, PA. Her numerous group exhibitions were held not only in the United States but, Japan and South Africa as well. Two group shows were travelling exhibitions.
Mayota has been featured in several quilt publications. In the publication, Journey of Hope: Art Quilts Inspired by President Obama, her quilt was chosen for one of the thumb-nail pictures displayed on its cover. In addition, another of her quilts was the lone quilt selected to span the cover of a fall catalog of the Sweetwater Center for the Arts, Sewickley PA. Moreover, she was one of four artists picked for an invitational exhibition held at the facility.
Mayota has a quilt included in the art collection of Michigan State University.
To be able to create art, I feel, is a God given talent that I love and cherish. My paintings are expressions of my spirituality, thoughts, concepts, life experiences, and imagination. I love both abstract and realistic painting. It is the process, colors, and shapes that intrigue me and keep me wholly committed to each attempt to express and share who I am as an Artist. Abstracts allow me to go on a journey – time travel – if you will; it’s a continuous discovery of self, living, love, people, in general, and the world in which we live.
Ashley A. Jones
Ashley A. Jones is a multidisciplinary artist and educator from Duquesne, PA., whose work challenges the notion of identity and beauty standards among African American women and girls. Her work has been exhibited internationally across the USA, Canada, and Indonesia. Jones' work is in the collections of the National Afro-American Museum & Cultural Center in Wilberforce, Ohio. She has received her MFA from Indiana University of Pennsylvania and a BA in studio art from Central State University in Ohio. Jones is the director of Kipp Gallery at Indiana University of Pennsylvania, where she is also an Assistant Professor of Art. Her artwork and research on colorism and discrimination within the black community have resulted in numerous requests for presentations and lectures. Her work has been favorably reviewed and recognized in several publications.
My current artistic concentrations are paintings, mosaics and installations. The installations are inspired by the black experience in the diaspora with the general theme of” the power of the spirit to overcome obstacles”. My abstract paintings and mosaics illuminate “the beauty of spirit”.
My passion for jazz embraces in my abstraction’s concepts of improvisation, rhythmic energy and color fields. Currently, my partner Mobutu and I are opening a gallery and house of culture called MOKA: Mecca of Kulture & Art. A place for artists and musicians to share in the rebirth of the historic Hill District.
Facilitator of Workshops and Demonstrations
I come from a family of entrepreneurs and knew from an early age that I wanted to follow the same career path. I opened LaVerne Kemps Studios after graduating from California University of Pennsylvania in 1980, where I studied both Education and Art. While at California University I studied Fiber Arts and instantly knew I’d found my calling- taking a weaving course ended up being a life changing decision.
Over the years my work has evolved into an art form rather than just traditional weaving. I’ve experimented with different weaving techniques, felting, shibori dying, beadwork and quilting. Using these various techniques, I’ve developed product lines that emphasize one-of-a-kind statement pieces, wearable art and accessories that are colorful and textural.
Mary Martin is a Pittsburgh based artist/ art educator. In 1993, she received Bachelor Degrees in Architecture and Fine Arts from the Rhode Island School of Design. Currently, she is a high school visual art instructor and student advisor at Winchester Thurston School. She’s worked for the Heinz History Center, Manchester Craftsman’s Guild, and The Pittsburgh Foundation.
Mary is a member of Women of Visions, Inc., an arts collective of Black female visual artists. Her work has been exhibited around the country. She has also curated, coordinated and collaborated on educational programming and special projects for organizations such as: August Wilson Center, Andy Warhol Museum, Women of Visions, Inc., The Society for Contemporary Craft, Winchester Thurston School and Heinz History Center. She has also served on artist/grant review panels for the August Wilson Center Fellowship Program, Heinz Endowments Small Arts Initiatives Programs, Advancing Black Arts in Pittsburgh, The Multicultural Arts Initiative, and the Ohio Arts Council.
Harriette Meriwether is an multi-disciplinary artist, I create in watercolor, acrylic, fiber and varied forms of paper. Often, I experiment with new techniques and materials, sometimes combining one or more mediums to create engaging art I create quilted wall hangings in expressive and rich colors, textures and shapes. Some of my quilted works reflect historic and social issues that tap at my core.
The execution of an idea starts with a rough sketch and thinking through the process…. a clearer design, color, shape, dimension, and writing notes and concepts to develop the composition. With fiber I look at pattern, shape, size, and I audition a selection of fabrics prior to beginning.
I like to sculpt and make clay sculptures with the use of a vivid imagination. I like to paint on various style canvases, as well as to paint on just Bisk clay with the mixtures of Acrylic paints, beyond the rainbow of colors. Inviting the audience to enjoy my arts of different mediums from my eye's mind.
Dominique Scaife is an emerging, self-taught, polymer clay, figurative sculptural artist. Dominique was born, raised, and is currently practicing art in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania, USA. Dominique Scaife Art is the telling of the story of African American culture through sculpture pieces. The intent of her art is to capture the vastness of what it is to be African American. She uses polymer clay to show details in skin tones, hairstyles, and to communicate the stories of her figurative pieces. Each piece is visual story of the culture. An open invitation to recognize, celebrate, and converse around issues or topics of current and past. Dominique is a current member of Pittsburgh Society of Artists Guild, Women of Visions Inc., and Society of Sculptors Pittsburgh.
I consider myself to be a mixed media artist. A quilter first, because I have been quilting for so many years, but also a surface designer and an amateur of several other forms of art. Please feel free to contact me if you are interested in my work or you wish to commission a work of art.
My quilts generally tell a story or send a message or have some relation to my life experience. I enjoy my art and spend a great deal of my efforts in improving and perfecting my work.
Most of my art is in private collections but some pieces can be seen at the Pittsburgh History Center, Bidwell Cultural Center or several Pittsburgh Public Schools.
Janet Watkins is a ceramic jewelry and figure sculptor artist working in Pittsburgh, PA. Her work is inspired by her love of reclaiming materials and utilizes various mediums including clay, glass, fiber and wood. Watkins recently received the Jurors Choice Award for her work in the Sankofa Soul: Past, Present, Future exhibit at the Pittsburgh Center for the Arts. She has also participated in a two women show in Sewickley PA, a four artist show called Reclaimation Nation at the Union Project, Pittsburgh PA and currently has her art displayed at the Pittsburgh Cultural District. To learn more about her and to see her current work, visit her on Instagram - @Janet2100Watkins.