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Marva Pitchford Jolly


We remember Chicago artist, Marva Pitchford Jolly who died on Monday, October 21, 2012.

A self-taught ceramicist and sculptor with a B.A. degree from Roosevelt University and M.A from Governor's State University, she was a full-time professor in Art and Design at Chicago State University from 1987 until her retirement in 2009. Marva’s work was influenced by traditional African hand-building techniques and the values she learned from her family and growing up in Mississippi.

Inspired by her mother who was a quilter and her father who made toys for the children, Marva’s early passion for mud and water was her first gravitation towards creating her art. Working as a ceramicist since 1982, clay was a most powerful part of her life’s journey. She has been included in many publications and a range of exhibitions including the Museum of Contemporary Art, The Museum of Science and Industry, The Spertus Museum of Judaica and many galleries including Mary O'Shaughnessy's Wood Street Gallery and Sculpture Garden, Satori Fine Arts, Artemisia, The Renaissance Center of the Chicago Cultural Center, Susan Woodson Gallery, and the historic South Side Community Art Center, among others.

Together with Felicia Grant Preston, Marva Jolly co-founded Sapphire and Crystals, an African American Women’s Art Collective in Chicago. Marva’s work is included in WMG’s STATE OF G/RACE exhibition, celebrating 25 years of Sapphire and Crystals.

Martha Zackey


Remembering Martha Zackey: September 4, 1943 – April 16, 2012

Martha grew up in southern Illinois and in suburban Chicago. As a young adult she left the area with her husband for the west coast and then the east coast before her return as a widow to the Midwest, but she credited Chicago for her artistic roots, and she maintained her virtual presence at the online Woman Made Gallery for as long as she lived.

Life in the big city was the initial inspiration for Martha’s paintings, usually in watercolor and on a small scale. After earning her M.F.A. from Indiana University, Bloomington, Martha returned to Chicago to live at The Three Arts Club and serve as a case worker in the Stateway Gardens public housing project. She credited her experiences there for leading her to draw and paint her visions of the way power structures of big cities compartmentalize those who live and work in them.

In Chicago Martha exhibited in the Chicago Art Institute Art Rental and Sales Gallery, The Three Arts Club and ARC Gallery. She taught and exhibited in group and solo exhibitions in Indiana, Oregon, New York and Wisconsin. She enjoyed theatrical set painting and design, and provided editorial illustration for a number of publications. Most recently she was an award winner in the 2010 - 2011 Watercolor Wisconsin exhibit at the RAM Wustum Museum in Racine, Wisconsin.

Martha identified herself as a magic realist. W.M. Ittmann, Jr., writing in Spectrum Magazine of the Arts in Portland, Oregon in 1976, described her exhibition there as “The Magic of Martha Zackey,” and that could serve as the title for her life’s work.


Constance Demuth Berg


We are remembering our dear friend Connie Berg, June 9, 1925 - August 15, 2011, artist, art educator and gentle vibrant woman. - Nina Corwin

Constance DeMuth Berg received undergraduate and graduate degrees from MacMurray College, Columbia University and Western Illinois University, respectively. She has done post-graduate work at Cranbrook Academy of Art, Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, and abroad at the University of London, Mounts Bay Arts Center, Cornwall, England, Inniemore School of Painting, Isle of Mull, and the International School of Beaux Arts in the South of France.

She has taught at universities and colleges, including Allegheny College, Northern Iowa University, Penn State University, and the University of Florida. As a scholar, she has also published in national journals, such as Smithsonian's "American Art Journal", in which she describes her discoveries while researching Winslow Homer in Northumberland. Her watercolors and writing have been featured in "American Artist". Most recently, the U. U. World Magazine presented her sculpture "Children of Shoah", which is now exhibited permanently at Western Illinois University.

Throughout her life as an artist and teacher, she has worked in a variety of media, including ceramics, watercolor, and acrylic painting. Her latest award winning sculptures created from found pieces of wood and metal have been exhibited in local, state and national juried shows, and in contemporary galleries in Decatur, Galesburg, Washington, D. C. and Chicago.

Virginia J. Lizzo


Virginia J. Lizzo ('Va'), nee Guagliardo, died on August 23, 2010, after a long and productive life as an artist, active in the Chicago and Italian American art community.

Virginia exhibited widely, in solo or group exhibits, at many galleries and museums, among them the Art Institute of Chicago, Brainerd Art Gallery in New York, Neville Sargent Gallery, Italian Cultural Center, Barrington Area Arts Council, Contemporary Art Center of Arlington, Evanston Art Center Co-op Gallery, Beverly Art Center, Adler Art Center, August House Studio, Natalini Gallery, Illinois State Museum, Balzekas Museum and Bradley University School of Art. During her career, Virginia was honored by receiving many awards from a number of associations, including the Spertus Museum, The Artist's Guild of Chicago, National Italian Artists, Countryside Gallery and the Arthur A. Baer Memorial Competition.

Besides creating art, Virginia was also active in promoting the arts in Chicago. In the early 1980's, she was one of the founders of the Chicago Artists' Coalition where she served several terms as a Board member and also co-edited the Artist Resource Book. She was also associated with the Illinois Arts Council and the Museo Italo Americano. In an effort to further educate the public about art, she appeared as a panelist at several conferences and gave demonstrations in printmaking.

One of her most gratifying experiences was her involvement in THE STUDIOSPACE on West Hubbard Street. There, she and a group of women artists could pursue their passion for art and feed off each others creative energy in a professional and collegial atmosphere. In this special place, Virginia was able to put her love of art into a life satisfying experience and help other women artists along their way.

Anna M. Tyler


Born in 1930, Anna M. Tyler died on Sunday, November 29, 2009. An artist and art-historian, she was a long-time supporter and close friend of Woman Made Gallery.

Raised in Evanston, Illinois Anna M. Tyler knew when she was just a little girl that she wanted to be an artist. She studied at the School of the Art Institute in Chicago and later met her husband, painter and fellow School of the Art Institute alumnus Al Tyler, at an exhibit at the South Side Community Art Center. The couple traveled to Mexico to further their art studies. There she worked with noted sculptor and printmaker Elizabeth Catlett, with whom she remained connected for the rest of her life. She taught and lectured throughout the Chicago area, including at Woman Made Gallery.

Anna M. Tyler was a founding member of Sapphire & Crystals, an African-American women's art collective in Chicago. She was a friend of the poet Gwendolyn Brooks, and her work serves as cover art for several of Brooks's books. Visit Anna McCullough Tyler's webpage for more about her life and art.

Beatrice Fisher


Beatrice Fisher passed away on October 16, 2009, the day of the opening of her first solo show, held at Woman Made Gallery through November 12, 2009.

Born Beatrice Joseph in Detroit, MI, on March 9, 1939, Beatrice moved at an early age to Birmingham, AL, returning to Detroit in 1957 to attend Wayne State University. A brilliant and dedicated student, she graduated in 1964 with degrees in theater and English literature, and was honored with membership in Phi Beta Kappa. But it was after moving to Chicago, in 1963, with her husband and daughter, that she discovered and developed her unique artistic talent.

During almost five decades making art in Chicago, Beatrice enjoyed associations with and exhibited at a number of galleries and art centers both in Chicago and around the country, including the Hyde Park Art Center, Woman Made Gallery, the Phyllis Kind Gallery, Anderson Ranch, the Vermont Studio Center, the Evanston Arts Center, Ragdale, the Aron Packer Gallery, and the Judy Saslow Gallery. She was loosely affiliated with the Chicago Imagists, studying under Don Baum and Karl Wirsum, and developing relationships with Ed Paschke and Eleanor Spiess-Ferris, among others. She also won a top award at the Art Institute's Chicago & Vicinity Show in the early 1970s.

Visit Beatrice Fisher's website for more about her life and art.

Geraldine McCullough

Geraldine McCullough


Geraldine McCullough died on December 15, 2008 after a long and productive life creating her beautiful artwork.

Born on December 1, 1922 (or 1917) in Mason County, Arkansas, McCullough spent her formative years in Chicago, graduated from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago with both Bachelor and Master of Arts degrees in painting and art education, and taught in the Chicago public school system. After serving as the Chairperson of the Art Department for twelve years, Rosary College, (later Dominican University) in River Forest, IL bestowed upon her an Honorary Doctorate at her retirement. Her work is exhibited in many notable collections throughout the U.S., including 'Three Generations of African American Women Sculptors' at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington and the National Women's Museum in Washington, DC.

While initially a painter, McCullough adopted welded sculpture as her preferred medium after her husband, Lester McCullough introduced her to the technique. McCullough first achieved recognition in the art community with her steel and copper sculpture Phoenix, which received the George D. Widener Gold Medal for Sculpture in 1965. Phoenix, as the title suggests, expresses an organic form, perhaps a leaf, wing, or claw, which rises and unfolds in an elegant twisting movement, almost contrapposto. Like many of her other works, Phoenix blends both figuration and abstraction, suggesting a figure with one arm outstretched and the other bent back over neck and head in pain or joy.

In 2000, artist Geraldine McCullough was presented the Oak Park (IL) Area Arts Council's Joseph Randall Shapiro Award, given annually, in recognition of "exceptional contributions to the arts." Inside her huge Oak Park studio Geraldine McCullough continued through the end of her life to work with welded, fabricated, brazed sheet copper and brass, and mute forms of cast bronze in order to discover an eloquent visual language of shape, contour, line, scale, and texture with which to testify to her unique feminine and African-American personal and artistic experience.

Visit Geraldine McCullough's webpage website for more about her life and art.

Deborah Hughes

Deborah Hughes


A long-time supporter and wonderful friend of the Woman Made family, Deborah Hughes died on July 3, 2008. Born in Memphis, Tennessee on March 13, 1946, Deborah came to Chicago in 1958 where she attended the Chicago Teachers College. She served as a devoted teacher in several elementary schools and retired from Eugene Field Elementary School in 2002.

Deborah Hughes supported Woman Made since her first visit with poet and artist Frances Callaway Parks. She served on the WMG Advisory Board and attended numerous exhibition openings and other events. She led WMG's Executive Director, Beate Minkovski, on several unforgettable tours of Chicago's Southside, introducing her to noted artists like Allen Stringfellow and Richard Wright, and showing her treasures like the Southside Community Art Center and the Susan Woodson Gallery. Deborah knew what was going on in the city, and she could be seen regularly at the most interesting cultural events happening at different venues such as the DuSable Museum, the Hyde Park Art Center, the Art Institute of Chicago, the Cultural Center, Nicole Gallery, and of course at Woman Made Gallery.

A gentle, kind and generous spirit, an inspiration and joy to all her friends, an art collector and ardent supporter of the arts, a most colorful and elegant woman, a wonderful poet, a noble human being, Deborah Hughes will be missed by all who knew her. The board and staff of WMG extend their most heartfelt condolence to Deborah's son, Funsho, and to all her family members.

Dreaming Spirit
Deborah Hughes / March 13, 2008

My spirit loves to dream
legba-loa of the crossroads-
guards the gate
the priestess dances in a trance
she speaks in tongues
the tongue is magic
like a flickering
red flame
a philosphic song
For the gods
the body a vessel
of the soul
sleep a vessel
of dreams.

Barbara Twardzik

Artwork by Barbara Twardzik Grzybowski


Our wonderful friend and great volunteer, Barb Twardzik Grzybowski died on Sunday, April 13, 2008 in a car accident after leaving WMG's Benefit Auction where she had worked hard all evening to make sure that all went well. The WMG board, staff and volunteers are in deep sorrow, and we extend our most heartfelt condolences to Barb's family and large circle of friends.

Barb loved Woman Made and always felt at home here. She never called herself an artist, but she was extremely creative, and everything she touched turned into something special and beautiful. Her projects for Woman Made became one of a kind artworks, and one never knew what visual surprises she would present next time. The image depicted here is of one of the many storage boxes that Barb painted for our 2006 Benefit Auction. She wanted to make sure that whatever was stored under the silent auction tables was as interesting as what was displayed on the tables. Barb started to make jewelry and participated with her necklaces and bracelets in our 2007 Holiday Bazaar. She was always generous with her time and whatever else she could give. In 2007 she donated all the beads that we needed for a jewelry workshop project at The Women's Treatment Center in Chicago.

Barb was a very beautiful, creative, energetic and spirited human being. She was a joy to have around. All of us at Woman Made Gallery will forever miss Barb in our lives.

Woman Made Gallery thanks Herb Lande from Imperial Construction Associates, Inc. from Joliet, Illinois, and Laura Stempel for their donations in memory of Barbara Twardzik. We thank the Twardzik families, Stan, Mary, Wes, Wanda, John and Ed, for donating in honor of their sister Barb.

Judith Anderson

Judith Anderson


Magnificent artist, feminist and Woman Made member since 1994, Judith Anderson died on Saturday, April 5, 2008 at home and surrounded by her loved ones. We are extending our deepest regrets to Judith' children and her entire family.

Judith Anderson was one of the first participants in WMG's Online Registry in 2000 and samples of her artwork may be viewed on her website. A hard-working and very prolific artist all through her life, it is in part because of her wonderful artistic creations that Judith Anderson continues her presence with Woman Made Gallery.

"Judith Anderson, age 73, artist and printmaker, died on April 5, 2008. Loved by her children, Sam Anderson of Lansing, MI, Jessica Anderson (Trevor Staples) of Ypsilanti, MI, Laura Anderson (Paul Martino) of Old Saybrook, CT, and beloved of her partner, Kathleen Collins of Miller Place, NY. A graduate of Mount Holyoke College, her last show was at Mackerel Sky in East Lansing in the summer of 2007. She leaves many friends who cherished her and a legacy of artworks of great power and enduring beauty. A celebration of Judith's life was held May 17, 2008 at 2:00 p.m. at Edgewood United Church, 469 N. Hagadorn, East Lansing, MI, with Catherine Madsen of Amherst, MA leading the celebration. Donations in Judith's memory may be sent to The Nature Conservancy at http://www.nature.org. For remembrances of Judith, please visit the online guestbook at www.legacy.com and enter her name." -Published in the Lansing State Journal - April 27, 2008

Erena Rae


Erena Rae, dear friend, fabulous artist and WMG supporter, died on Friday, May 19th, 2006 at her home in Highland Park, New Jersey.

Artwork by Erena Rae

Rena earned her BFA degree in drawing and printmaking from the University of Kansas and pursued a 30-year career in graphic design and commercial illustration while following her husband, Gus Friedrich to Purdue University, the University of Nebraska, and the University of Oklahoma. She retired from commercial art and returned to her drawing and printmaking roots in 1998 when her husband accepted his current position at Rutgers University. Her award-winning prints and mixed-media works focusing on feminism and social issues have appeared in publications and juried exhibitions throughout the United States, as well as in China, Russia, and India. A mixed-media print which Rena created in response to the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing, was selected for inclusion in the book, The Best of Printmaking: An International Collection, and three of her works were included in Milton Glaser's 2005 publication, The Design of Dissent: Socially and Politically Driven Graphics.

Over the years, Rena served as a volunteer for numerous organizations: in her home churches in the Midwest; as an editor and graphic designer for various Plowshares activists, and for state and local chapters of the National Organization for Women; as a tutor for Laubauch Literacy International; and in New Jersey as a board member and exhibitions chair of the Printmaking Council of New Jersey, advisory council member for the Rutgers Center for Innovative Print and Paper, and program committee member for Friends of the Rutgers University Libraries.

We extend our most heartfelt sympathy to Gus Friedrich and son, Bruce Friedrich and the entire family. Memorial contributions may be sent to Woman Made Gallery or the National Museum of Women in the Arts (www.nmwa.org.)

At Home in the u.s.a. (#1 from the "Sweet Dreams" suite, in progress) 2005
Archival digital pigment print of scanned and computer-drawn images and typography on Hahnemuehle cotton rag, 25.5 x 19.5" - Printer: Silicon Gallery Fine Arts, Philadelphia, Edition: 5 - Embroidery (flowers): Ellen Marie Margaret Meyer Friedrich (artist's mother-in-law); photography: Erena Rae

Rena's statement for 'At Home in the u.s.a.' - "When I happened to walk past someone's 'bed' on a bitterly cold day in the capital city of our rich nation, I was moved to take a photograph. My own family lived modestly, but we always had a warm and comfortable place to lay our heads at night - a cozy spot made even more so by the beautiful needlework of our foremothers. I used one of these pillowcases as a backdrop (like a photo album page) for the sad streetscape picture, and included (for added irony) the words that countless mothers have whispered as their children drifted off to sleep: Sweet Dreams. And, to further point out the rift between the Haves and the Have-Nots, guidelines for the use of 'at-home' cards are included, as well as (in the form of litter on the fence) an at-home card for the biggest Have that we have in the USA (and whose image is subtly superimposed three times on the vertical right-most column where he can look down on the results of his compassionate conservatism. It is of immense interest to me that the rich and the poor live side-by-side in this country and yet they inhabit completely different worlds. How can there ever be empathy? And without empathy, how can there be change?"

Erin Joslin

Artwork by Erin Joslin


Artist Erin Joslin died on Monday, August 23, 2004. Our most sincere condolences and empathy to Erin's entire family and all who knew and loved her.

Erin Joslin graduated from the School of the Art Institute in Chicago in 1998 with a BFA. Her previous trip to Ireland inspired her to work with raw sheep's fleece. Erin exhibited two of her carefully crafted and very beautiful three-dimensional artworks in the 'Animal Stories' exhibition which was on display from September 11 to October 9, 1998 at Woman Made Gallery. We have included one of those works here.

"Erin was an artist all of her life. She began drawing and painting before she could write. Often her schoolwork included sketches in the margins. An artist from SAIC came to her high school in Wichita and she was determined to attend that college. She did attend the early college program in Chicago between her junior and senior years in high school, and applied only to SAIC. She was accepted. Between her junior and senior years in college, she went to Allihies, in the Beara Peninsula of County Cork, Ireland, to study art. Her last college course was taken there as well, and when SAIC awarded her a fellowship to travel, she used it to stay in Ireland. It was in Ireland that she was inspired to create her "beasts" and that was the focus of her work during her last year in college and upon her return to Ireland.

The 2001 hoof and mouth disease outbreak in Ireland inspired an installation that was displayed at the opening of a new hotel in Galway. Erin was working on another project that she was planning with another artist the year before she became so ill. It involved a park in Galway, children and recyclables. At her funeral service a large unfinished piece was displayed. She died too soon." -Carolyn Anderson

Woman Made Gallery thanks all individuals who have made donations to the organization in memory of Erin Joslin: Carolyn Anderson, Laura Black, Margot Breckbill, Juli Burke, Donna Daly, Mary Ann Ernzen, Sue Guenthner, Vicky Howard, Mary Koehn, Jeri Melin, Marleen Patty, Karen Wohlwend.

(right) 'Beast (Box)', raw fleece, cotton rope, wool and silk yarn by Erin Joslin.

Nancy Maguire


We are very sad to announce the death of artist Nancy Maguire, past president of CWCA and a loyal friend and member of Woman Made Gallery. Nancy's photography was accepted into the 'Honoring the Crone' exhibition in Fall 2001 at WMG and she offered her photographic services to members of WMG. We will all miss her dearly. Nancy was laid to rest at Calvary Cemetery on Tuesday, May 28, 2002. Memorials may be made to your favorite charity.

Annalee Hultgren

Artwork by Annalee Hultgren


Annalee Hultgren passed away on July 6, 2001. Annalee had a MFA from the School of the Art Institute and taught in the art department of City Colleges for twenty-four years, until her retirement in 1993. She was also adjunct lecturer at the Art Institute since 1972.

Annalee Hultgren was a member of Woman Made Gallery for many years and participated in several of our exhibitions, including the Seventh Annual Member's Show in 2000.

(right) 'Mediterranean Descendant', mixed media on masonite by Annalee Hultgren.

Hollis Sigler


Hollis Sigler, a prominent Chicago-area artist lost her courageous battle with breast cancer on Thursday, March 29, 2001.

Our connection with Hollis goes back to 1994 when she shared her thoughts about her art and her struggles with her illness at a memorable lecture at Woman Made Gallery. Already admired for her naive autobiographical paintings, she became best known for her series in "Breast Cancer Journal: Walking with the Ghosts of My Grandmothers," which she exhibited in 1993 at the National Museum of Women in the Arts in Washington and at Rockford College and the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago.

Hollis Sigler received a lifetime achievement award from the College Art Association. It joined a similar honor by the Illinois Arts Alliance and an honorary doctorate from Moore College. She also received grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Illinois Arts Council and was one of the honorees at the Women's Caucus of Art in March, 2001.

A memorial service took place on April 21, 2001 at 2 pm at the Dance Center at Columbia College, 1306 South Michigan in Chicago.

Breast Cancer Journal

Breast Cancer Journal

Here is a review of "The Breast Cancer Journal" by Lynn Kable, Founding Board Member and Former President, Society for the Arts in Healthcare from New York City:

Hollis Sigler has created a visual language, easily learned and powerfully understood, using images of a woman's everyday life to portray wildly varying emotions of a woman diagnosed with re-occurring cancer. "Hollis Sigler's Breast Cancer Journal" show's Hollis' own incredible strength in living and painting life to the fullest while concurrently fighting serious illness. Her drawings and paintings reflect the experiences of women living with breast cancer and those who care for them, while providing a means of immediate, almost organic emotional understanding to their families, neighbors, and friends. Hollis is brave, powerful, and very much attached to life. Her struggles are all of ours: through her art we learn to better understand ourselves.

From 1994-1997 The Society for the Arts in Healthcare (SAH) sponsored with the National Museum of Women in the Arts a national tour to 24 hospitals of replicas, donated by Polaroid Corporation, of 14 Hollis Sigler drawings and painting about living with breast cancer, all of which now appear in "Hollis Sigler's Breast Cancer Journal." Hollis' powerful images provided a vehicle for patients and families, doctors and nurses, visitors, medical students and non-professional staff to consider breast cancer from a visually articulate patient's point of view. Kathy Miller of the Cancer Wellness Center in Northbrook, IL wrote at the time about the art and Hollis Sigler: "The art is thought-provoking for people of all ages and in all stages of health....Women have a lot in common -- her work says it all." Hollis Sigler's work is important, a series of visual statements with the same emotional validity as the writings of Elisabeth Kubler-Ross or the choreography of Bill T. Jones. I have shown some of Hollis' images which appear in this book during arts-in-healthcare talks to medical students in Ohio, patients in New York, and healthcare professionals in Japan. The images have always met with visual and emotional appreciation and immediate understanding from the audience. From the standpoint of this particular reader and member of the Arts in Healthcare movement, Hollis Sigler's Breast Cancer Journal is a Must Read! -

Sara Marie Risk


Sara Marie Risk died November 6th, 1998. She moved from Chicago to New Britain, Connecticut with her husband Sean Gallagher, where she taught and created her moving portraits inspired by Italian Renaissance art. Both she and Sean were members of Woman Made Gallery from the early beginnings and both have exhibited together in WMG's annual Member's Show.

Rene A. Townsend


Rene A. Townsend who died October 10th, 1998 was a prolific artist and educator. She participated at Woman Made Gallery as both an exhibitor and juror. She was the first black woman to graduate from the Rinehart School of Sculpture and was a Ford Foundation Fellow. Rene was an active member of Sapphire and Crystals, an African American Women's Art Collective and taught at the School of the Art Institute.

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February 12, 2015
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