Astraea Visual Arts Fund
Visual Arts Fund 2002-2003
The Astraea Lesbian Visual Arts Fund promotes the work of contemporary lesbian visual artists. Grants are awarded to artists working in an array of media including sculpture, painting, prints, mixed media and works on paper.
September 19, 1942 - June 7, 2003
A Rememberance by Flavia Rando.
"Maxine Fine, the beloved friend of all who knew her, and my dear friend for more than thirty years, passed during the early morning of June 7, 2003. Maxine lived a considered life dedicated to her art-her life exemplified the beauty of a conscious spiritual life.
Maxine's dedication and courage, her level of achievement and excellence have been recognized; she has been the recipient of several national awards, including the Pollack-Krasner Foundation and Gottlieb Foundation grants. Maxine was a pioneering member of the Lesbian Art Movement; her work was published in the 1977 Lesbian Issue of Heresies, and she exhibited in the groundbreaking 1978 A Lesbian Show. On June 6, 2003, she learned that she was the recipient of the Astraea Visual Arts Award. A retrospective and catalogue are planned for 2005 at the Santa Fe Art Institute, Santa Fe, New Mexico.
A cancer survivor of twenty-five years, Maxine wrote, 'In 1978, I had the first of my two encounters with breast cancer. My illness set in motion the move I would make to New Mexico. In 1981, I chose to live in rural northern New Mexico...where the stars were the only lights visible at night. It was a difficult transition, but...the years here, and the work I have created, have borne out the rightness of my decision. The environment in which I live has enriched my inner life to become a deep source for my art.'
Maxine's luminous spirit, her gentle acceptance and beautiful heart graced our lives. She wrote of her art, "Behind all of this lies the desire for completeness. And a sense that one can never know the whole story. This is the source of great sadness and also great happiness."
Evelyn Embry's work has exhibited in New York City, Rochester, Buffalo and Sedona. The Swanson Art Gallery of San Francisco exclusively represented Evelyn for twelve years, and her paintings appears in their book, 21 California Artists, and in collections throughout the country. Her studies include four years at the Sergei Bongart School of Fine Art in Santa Monica, CA. She now lives in Richford, NY. $2,500
Evelyn Embry's Artist Statement, excerpt: "I needed to contradict society's definition of me as nobody; in short, an aging woman alone in poverty and of no value. I saw older women everywhere being degraded by the circumstances of their lives, treated as invisible, ridiculed and persecuted as I myself was, as well as being exploited. In the last ten years, I'd seen my dignity erode to nothing. This work was the most personal I'd ever done and the most meaningful. I had never thought of myself as an interesting subject, but now I was amazed to find that I interested me more than anyone else! Making art is the one way in which I feel whole. It is the one thing that empowers me, and it is the primary struggle of my life to continue to do so. It is only through art that I am able to recover and reclaim myself."
The Honorable Mention went to Silvia A. Malagrino, Associate Professor in the Department of Photo, Film and Video at the University of Illinois at Chicago.