National Association of Women Artists admits Heath Springs artist

The National Association of Women Artists, Inc. (NAWA) is pleased to announce that Fran Gardner of Heath Springs, has been accepted into membership, having met the standards required by the membership jury of NAWA.

Gardner was inducted on Nov. 14 at the Rubin Museum in New York. In addition to this honor, her work is exhibited in the New Members Show that also opened on Nov. 14 at the NAWA Gallery, her first New York exhibit. She is a professor of art and art history at the University of South Carolina Lancaster where she teaches a variety of studio courses, art history, art appreciation, and art education. She earned her Bachelor of Fine Arts from Columbia College (1982) and later, her Master of Fine Arts from Vermont College of Norwich University (1993). Gardner stated, “This organization has a long and important history of supporting women artists. I am honored to be included in the membership of this group that continues to address the inequity of opportunities for women in the arts. I look forward to working with both the National Association and the South Carolina Chapter to open doors and break down barriers for women artists and to exhibit and present my work on regional and national levels in support of the NAWA mission.”

Dean Dr. Walter Collins at UofSC Lancaster added that, “Prof. Fran Gardner has helped to create a dynamic culture of artistic expression, critique, and appreciation at UofSC Lancaster. Over the span of her career, we have seen interest in art courses grow which has served to diversify not only our academic offerings but our student body. The NAWA induction and her recent exhibition in their gallery space are such fitting honors and recognitions for Prof. Gardner and add esteem to both her national reputation and the influence of her scholarly work.”


The National Association of Women Artists, Inc. (based in New York City with a chapters in Florida, Massachusetts and South Carolina), is a source of culture and education through its active exhibition scheduled throughout the U.S. as well as in the NAWA Gallery.

NAWA has a permanent collection at the Jane Voorhees Zimmerli Art Museum at Rutgers University in New Jersey, and other educational opportunities to its members and the general public. Most NAWA members are listed in Who’s Who in American Art, and are represented in museums, galleries, corporate collections and traveling exhibitions through the U.S. and abroad.

A non-for-profit, non-political member-supported organization of professional women in the Fine Arts, NAWA was founded in 1889 by five innovative women: Grace Fitz Randolph, Edith Mitchill Prellwitz, Adele Francis Bedell, Anita C. Ashley, and Elizabeth S. Cheever. The five founders were seeking exhibition opportunities for gifted artists who had been denied participation in the prominently male-dominated art institutions of the time. Early annual exhibitions included the notable Rosa Bonheur, Mary Cassatt, Suzanne Valadon, and Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney. As the organization grew, Louise Nevelson, Judy Chicago, Janet Fish, Mariam Shapiro, Marisol, Audrey Flack, Faith Ringgold and many additional illustrious artists supported the organization.

NAWA looks forward to new challenges for art in the 21st century and is committed to including its membership other accomplished women artists capable of significant contributions to the ongoing history of American Art. NAWA is archived in numerous museums and libraries throughout the U.S.

Please visit the NAWA website for more event information, to download applications or to support the organization: www.thenawa.org.


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