Women’s Art Club of Hamilton to present dual exhibition ‘Pieces of Me’

Fitton Center, Straus Gallery will be sites of members-only show.

The Women’s Art Club of Hamilton will present “Pieces of Me,” its second annual dual venue exhibition at the Fitton Center for Creative Arts and at The Strauss Gallery.

“We are an officially formed Women’s Art Club now with dues-paying members. We have about 89 members at this point, and the theme for the show was suggested and voted on by the members,” said Elizabeth Rohrbaugh, artist and founder of the Women’s Art Club of Hamilton.

The members-only show will feature a broad range of media, representing the diversity of the women in the Women’s Art Club of Hamilton, who are on an artistic journey.

“‘Pieces of Me’ is a reflection of our club, the members, and the wide range of art that we produce. We have a broad range of media again in this show, including fiber, glass, mosaics, jewelry, two dimensional paintings, oil, acrylic, and watercolor and ceramics. It’s just as broad as it was last year. There’s really something for everybody in this show,” Rohrbaugh said.

Women in the Women’s Art Club of Hamilton are art-minded women, age 18 and over, living in or near Hamilton.

“Of course, coming out of the pandemic, and everyone still has that feeling, we really were yearning for community, and especially among artists. Most of our professional work, or the time we spend creating art, is in isolation. So, finding community or like-minded women, especially, women artists, regardless of where they are in their artistic journey, this club supports every member in that path,” Rohrbaugh said.

She said the group members have been supportive by attending each other’s art shows, they cheer for each other, and encourage one another.

“We support each other in so many ways, whether that’s online, and helping to advertise each other’s work, or our shows, or just meeting with each other and helping work through issues with techniques, or websites,” said Rohrbaugh.

“Pieces of Me” is a holistic way to describe all that we can create, and that still is hard to wrap your arms around because the possibilities are infinite, and this show will be a snapshot, or some pieces of us that we have created recently that not only demonstrate the excellence in our craft, but the broad range of what we can produce as a group, she said.

Nearly 50 artists are represented in “Pieces of Me,” and about 130 pieces of art will be on display. Artists will have representation at both galleries. Guests are encouraged to visit both galleries, because there will be different art in each gallery space.

The exhibition will kickoff with a gallery opening on Saturday, Feb. 17, starting at 5:30 p.m. “Pieces of Me” will be on display simultaneously in the first-floor Community Gallery at the Fitton Center and at The Strauss Gallery, and both venues are in downtown Hamilton.

“It’s most exciting because this is really our community. We have all bonded around being artists in Hamilton,” Rohrbaugh said.

Artist Mary Ley Bolden said she found out about the Women’s Art Club of Hamilton by reading a Journal-News article. She called Rohrbaugh and went to the next art club meeting. She has two pieces of art in the “Pieces of Me” exhibition.

“This is needed because it spurs you. If you do art, you should exhibit it. If you write, you should publish it,” said Ley Bolden.

One of Ley Bolden’s artworks on view is a collage called “Camel.” It was created out of Camel cigarette packs she collected from a friend’s father, who was a chain smoker.

“It’s a collage of old Camel cigarette packs. It’s in the shape of a camel,” said Ley Bolden. “I always thought Camel cigarette packs were so pretty. They were so third-world, oriental, and other-worldly. My parents didn’t smoke, and I was drawn to them.”

Guests can see “Pieces of Me” at the Fitton Center during the gallery opening on Feb. 17 from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. (Cash bar) and at The Strauss Gallery the same evening from 5:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. (Wine and beer will be served and there will be live music from Bethany Huffman.) The exhibition will run through Mar. 22, during regular gallery hours.

“The Women’s Art Club of Hamilton is really a very new group of artists, and it’s amazing to me how quickly the group formed, how engaged, and connected the members are, and some of the members participate in almost every gathering or event that they have. It’s just a really super supportive network of artists,” said Cathy Mayhugh, director of exhibitions at the Fitton Center said.

She said the works will be on view in the Fitton Center’s first floor Community Gallery.

“The ‘Pieces of Me’ title is interesting to me because artmaking is very personal, and in choosing to share it, you’re putting yourself out there. You’re putting your heart out for people to see,” Mayhugh said.

How to go

What: “Pieces of Me,” a dual gallery exhibition presented by the Women’s Art Club of Hamilton

When: On display through March 22 (open regular gallery hours) with a dual gallery opening from 5:30-7:30 p.m. Feb. 17 at the Fitton Center and 5:30-9 p.m. at The Strauss Gallery.

Where: The Fitton Center for Creative Arts, 101 S. Monument Ave. and The Strauss Gallery, 222 High St. Both venues are in downtown Hamilton.

Cost: Free

More info: www.womensartclubofhamilton.com. Also, visit Women’s Art Club of Hamilton on Facebook and Instagram.

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