SoWa Exhibit Showcases Work of Five Female Artists With Ties to Mass.

An art exhibit that kicks off with an opening reception on Thursday, Oct. 20, and runs through Saturday, Oct. 29, at Gallery Kayafas in SoWa will showcase the work of five female artists with ties to Massachusetts.

“New Worlds: Women to Watch” is the latest exhibit in the Women to Watch (W2W) exhibition series, which was conceived by the National Museum of Women in the Arts  (NMWA) in Washington, D.C., the only major museum worldwide solely dedicated to championing women through the arts.

W2W was created specifically for NMWA’s 29 U.S. regional and international affiliated committees, including the Massachusetts State Committee of the National Museum of Women in the Arts (MA-NMWA).

This is the seventh year in a row that MA-NMWA has participated in the W2W exhibition series, which, according to Sarah Treco, president of the committee, “has proven to be a real-career builder for promising women artists.”

Lisa Tung, executive director of the MassArt Art Museum, has selected the five artists whose work embodies this year’s “New World” theme for the upcoming exhibition at Gallery Kayafas. These participating artists include Candice Smith Corby, Woomin Kim, Ceci Méndez-Ortiz, Chandra Méndez-Ortiz, and Daniela Rivera.

Candice Smith Corby is the gallery director of the Cushing-Martin Gallery at Stonehill College in Easton. Mass., and is a co-founder of The Bottega Projects, an arts collective which offers workshops in Italy in traditional media, such as fresco painting as well as those that share culinary, cultural, and art-making connections.

Woomin Kim, a South Korean artist currently based in Queens, N.Y., examines the materials found in everyday objects and urban landscapes through her textile and sculptural projects. She has participated in numerous exhibitions and residencies at the Queens Museum, Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, Boston Children’s Museum, Art Omi, and MASS MoCA, among other museums.

Cecilia (Ceci) Méndez-Ortiz is the executive director of the Center for Art and Community Partnerships (CACP) at Massachusetts College of Art and Design, as well as co-director of the  Radical Imagination for Racial Justice regranting program in Boston, which, she said, is “designed to support BIPoC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) artists in imagining and creating justice in collaboration with their community/ies.”

Chandra Dieppa Méndez-Ortiz is the executive director of Artward Bound – a free four year college access and success program in the arts for first generation Boston-area students of color –  at Massachusetts College of Art and Design (MassArt), as well as co-director of the Radical Imagination for Racial Justice Regranting Program (RIRJ), which she described as “a partnership with MassArt, The Surdna Foundation, and the City of Boston’s Mayor’s Office of Arts and Culture (MOAC) to support Black Indigenous People of Color (BIPOC) artists to reimagine racial justice in partnership with their communities to create movement toward racial justice.”                Previously, she spent 18 years working in the Boston Public Schools as a teacher developer, art teacher, and founding art director of Dorchester Academy.

   Daniela Rivera, who was born in Santiago, Chile, is currently the Barbara Morris Caspersen Professor of Humanities and Professor of Art at Wellesley College. She has exhibited widely in Latin American cities including Santiago, Chile, as well as in the U.S. She has been awarded residencies at Surf Point, Proyecto ACE in Buenos Aires, Vermont Studio Arts Center, and the Skowhegan School of Paintings and Sculpture.

One of these artists, along with artists representing each of the other 28 committees, will be selected to have their work displayed at an exhibit at NMWA in the spring of 2024.

Tung and the artists will be on hand for the opening reception on Thursday, Oct. 20, from 6 to 8 p.m. at Gallery

Kayafas, located at 450 Harrison Ave., or guests can visit the gallery anytime during the exhibition’s run through Oct. 29.

For more information, contact Sarah Treco at [email protected].

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