Claiming Space opens July 24 at MOWA

by Jim Dittmann
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Claiming Space at MOWA
Niki Johnson Fitting in with the Squares (Self Portrait), 2019 Porcelain Norman Rockwell commemorative plates

Exhibition Celebrates MOWA’s 60th Anniversary with Thirty Visionary Women Artists

BY: Museum Of Wisconsin Art – July 1 2021

The Museum of Wisconsin Art (MOWA) is pleased to announce Claiming Space—A New Generation of Visionary Women on view July 24–October 3, 2021. This exhibition celebrates MOWA’s 60th anniversary and its visionary founder, Melitta Hedwig Suder-Pick, with the work of thirty visionary women. The artists contribute deeply personal works that touch on themes of motherhood, the body, life during the pandemic, daily routines, hair, and the otherworldly side of femininity. Accompanying the works of art are brief expositions written by curators, gallerists, historians, and poets.

Claiming Space at MOWA
Melissa Cooke Benson Submerge 2013

The title, Claiming Space, refers to the long-overdue recognition of the underrepresentation of women in museum collections and art history as well as the expansion of this exhibition into MOWA’s permanent collection galleries.

“This exhibition raises timely questions about the place of women in the museum and more broadly in the art world,” said Executive Director and CEO, Laurie Winters. “MOWA’s permanent collection is comprised of 19% works by women artists—more than 6% higher than the national average—but there’s still work for us to do. Every year we’re adding more works from historically underrepresented backgrounds including women and BIPOC artists. We are committed to correcting generations of oversight.”

MOWA is open Wednesday through Sunday, 9:30–4:00. Admission as low as $15 provides unlimited visits to the museum for one full year.

Claiming Space at MOWA
Gina Litherland, Beautiful Wolf Lady, 2018. Oil on panel

Claiming Space – Exhibiting Artists:

Emily Belknap – Lois Bielefeld – Tyanna Buie – Melissa Cooke Benson

Demitra Copoulos – Michelle Grabner – Leslie Iwai – Niki Johnson

Sharon Kerry-Harlan – Anne Kingsbury – Gina Litherland – Lindsay Lochmann & Barbara Ciurej

Ashley Lusietto – Melissa Mursch-Rodriguez – Rosemary Ollison – Masako Onodera

Jean Roberts-Guequierre – Lauren Semivan – Alix Shaw – Spooky Boobs 

LaNia Sproles – Claire Stigliani – Valaria Tatera – Ariana Vaeth

Della Wells – Jenny Jo Wennlund – Dyani White Hawk

Claiming Space at MOWA
Dimitra Copoulos American Hair 2013

Claiming Space: A New Century of Visionary Women

You may also be interested in: “Carey Watters—Tiny Cuts” – Solo Exhibition Opens June 26


A vital cultural center, educational institution, and an expanding network of ideas, the Museum of Wisconsin Art collects and interprets American art through the lens of a single state. Informed by dynamic initiatives and collaborations, MOWA is an innovative forum for contemporary artists, socially relevant exhibitions, lectures by artists and industry experts, and engaging classes and activities for all ages. The museum’s primary venue—the modernist “Mothership”—rests along the Milwaukee River in downtown West Bend, drawing visitors and tourists from the far corners of the state. MOWA annually welcomes 200,000 visitors, making it a cultural destination for the art and artists of our time. Visit to learn more

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