Artists Archives presents Majority Rising


When Arists Archives of the Western Reserve executive director Mindy Tousley asked me to curate a figurative show to honor Women’s History Month in March 2015, and to include my own work, she didn’t have to ask twice. Eagerly and quickly, I chose my dream team of Archived Artists for the exhibition we call Majority Rising.


Feminist issues notwithstanding, a “woman show” makes for a dynamic unifying theme. Majority Rising pays homage to the figurative art revolution that has been brewing, living and thriving in Cleveland for the past 7 decades. Great strides have been made, and, inequalities still exist. But coming of age as a female figurative artist over the past 50, 60, 70 years in Northeast Ohio gives you a certain perspective…a “Cleveland Female Gaze” if you will.


Kathleen McKenna’s expressive lines and pentimenti bring her people to life with an inspired nervous energy. Lee Heinen’s precise color, shape and line achieve human expression by describing only what matters. Marsha Sweet exerts creative and physical strength to impressively oversized woodcut prints depicting trail blazing women artists. Shirley Campbell has for decades been Cleveland’s own, Rust-Belt Alice Neel. Her paintings of fascinating people who live beneath the radar of polite society speak to my artist’s soul. My regret is that I never met Marilyn Szalay before she passed away in 2012. Her powerful graphite drawings are superb compositions.


My curatorial role extends to painting portraits of each of the living artists included in this long-awaited exhibition.


As part of Majority Rising, AAWR is scheduling separate visits to each of the artists’ studios, open to the public, on Saturdays in March and April. Preregistration is required and there will be a fee of $20 per person, per visit. Interested in signing up for one of these studio visits? See listings for dates and times, and please contact AAWR to register.



Re Emergence

Calling all artists! Re-emerge from winter by submitting your work to this annual all- star show. Works will be juried and awards given out. Open to all, discounted fees for AAWR members. For more information visit us at or email for deadlines


Majority Rising March 12 – May 2.

Opening reception 5:30 – 8 pm Thursday, March 12.


Studio Visits:

Lee Heinen, March 15 / 1:00 – 2:30pm

Judy Takács, April 11 / 1:00 – 2:30

Kathleen McKenna, April 18 / 1:00 – 2:30

Re Emergence May 14 – June 27

Opening reception 5:30 – 8 pm Thursday, May 14



Artists Archives of the Western Reserve

1834 E. 123rd St.

Cleveland Ohio 44106



Image information

The first is by Judy Takacs, detail from  “When I grow up I want to be Shirley Campbell”

Kathleen McKenna “Malala’s Muse”, oil on linen 34” x 48”