Coinciding with the centennial of women’s suffrage in Washington State, Show of Hands: Northwest Women Artists 1880-2010 surveys the contributions made by women to the legacy of Pacific Northwest art. Highlighting work in all media by artists from Washington, Oregon, and British Columbia, it presents an intergenerational dialogue that unfolds thematically.
Show of Hands, which accompanied an exhibition at the Whatcom Museum, Bellingham, Washington, features geometric and biomorphic abstract artworks created to convey transcendental experiences and the beauty of form. It also focuses on artists whose representational approach expresses personal or communal stories that reference historical, social, and environmental issues. Many artists find inspiration in Native American art, and the heritage of women’s handicrafts is given a new twist by contemporary artists who reinterpret skills passed down through generations. Show of Hands also includes a wide variety of landscapes, which inspired many of the earliest artists.