In 1993, George Gunn, curator of the Alameda Museum, asked long time friend Bonnie Randall Boller to exhibit her works at the museum. Ms. Boller is a native and well known for her Ceramics and Clay Monoprinting and volunteer service in Alameda. The area in the museum was large enough for several artists and Ms. Boller suggested that she should ask several other women artists to participate in the exhibit. The first annual show of the Contemporary Women Artists of Alameda took place that year. The quality works of seventeen women artists exhibited various media such as photography, ceramics, glass works, sculpture and paintings. The exhibit was an enormous success with over 200 attending the reception.
In 1994, after a second successful exhibit, Ms. Boller along with five others members, Teri Elander, Beth Cox, Kay Young, Carol Sons and Lisa Levine formally created bylaws and formed the Alameda Women Artists. The association was developed to assist and motivate other women artists to exhibit their artwork. In June 2002, AWA President Boller was presented with a "Shining Stars for the Arts" award from the new Alameda City Arts Council for her dedication to Alameda Women Artists.
Over the years, many AWA members have participated in a variety of exhibits, auctions and raffles, such as a Mother's Day Tea that supported a local church and contributed to Meals-on-Wheels. We contributed to the Hurricane Katrina Fund. Several members were displayed as an AWA group exhibit at the U.S. Bank in Alameda for seven years. AWA has also participated in Alameda's Park Street Art and Wine Festival, Alameda Art in the Park, an Oakland Holiday Art Festival, and several exhibits at local coffee shops and book stores. Over the years, we have provided modest scholarships to aspiring artists and students through our silent auctions.
During the Covid-19 pandemic we are learning new ways to stay together as an organization and as a community. We hold monthly online meetings that, in addition to keeping us virtually connected, help to accommodate our members residing in places from as far away as Oregon to Montana and across the Atlantic all the way to Germany. AWA is developing plans for a virtual online exhibition of our art later this year. Also, our members are expanding their efforts to connect with the greater world by utilizing various social media platforms such as Instagram, Facebook and personal websites.
© 2012 Alameda Women Artists AWA Logo: Maureen George