Art Ladies Lunch
The women you see in these photographs are Susan Bartlett, Peggy McGahan, Alice Wych and Kathy Steere. They are the core group of fine artists of the longstanding “Art Lunch” get-togethers. These women have met for lunch & art discussions every month since 2008. I was lucky enough to be invited to this get-together a few years back, and have thoroughly enjoyed every meeting ever since. Mind you, this is just a small sample of the many more artists who have come and gone over the years. Consequently, the number of artists in attendance can vary from as few as 3 women, to as many as a dozen every month. What I’ve noticed is that even when the ladies who don’t live in the area anymore come back for a visit, they make a point to go to this lunch just to “touch base” with everyone. The brainchild for this brilliant idea is Kathy Steere, a longtime artist and instructor at the Morton Arboretum. Back in 2008 Kathy was thinking about how she thoroughly enjoyed meeting with the artists in classes and events, and wanted to come up with a concept where she and the others could get together on a regular basis. The goal for this gathering was to share their work, critique each other’s ongoing projects, and provide support to each other on their journeys. After getting a big thumbs up on the idea from her art friends, Kathy decided to pick a time and day every month for this casual “meet-up.”
Recently, a group of us enrolled in a colored pencil class together. Somehow, the idea came up to do a group project for the upcoming Nature Artists’ Guild of the Morton Arboretum’s Spring Exhibition. The fact that this has never been done before didn’t stop these women for a second. So, with the creation of our colored pencil works, combined with Susan Bartlett’s creative genius with scissors and an x-acto knife, a 3-D work of art was created! We’re all very excited to see our project included in the show.
There are so many things I love about these women, from their wicked senses of humor, to their kindness and compassion to the other artists in attendance when discussing a project or idea. I have watched as they support, guide and sometimes instruct each other in all aspects of the art world. Showing up every month with something to “show” for critique keeps us accountable as to what we’re creating, and keeps everyone moving forward doing what we love most. I am so incredibly grateful to be included in this amazing (and sometimes hilarious) lunch. Each of these women, and the countless others who’ve joined us over the years, are definitely Women of Substance.