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Legendary Women Artists of Venice Awards

Image: Logo - Legendary Women Artists of Venice Awards

Logo design by: Shin Shin Architecture & Design


The Legendary Women Artists of Venice Award was established in 2018 in honor of Women’s History Month by the Venice Art Crawl, Sunny Bak and Lauren Doyle. The award recognizes the contribution of Women to the Arts and their profound impact on society. Venice Beach is a renowned artistic community; a haven for many famous artists, musicians, actors, and writers. Much of our historical identity centers around the arts – with homes to vibrant murals, museums, galleries, studios, and art resource centers. The Venice Art Crawl’s mission is to connect art and community, and to keep art moving at a time when it’s desperately needed.

People in the art world want to think we are achieving equity and inclusion more quickly than we are–Women face institutional obstacles with only 14% of living artists represented in galleries nationwide. Women are dramatically undervalued – between 2008 and 2019, more than $197 billion was spent on art at auction. Of that, work made by women accounted for just $4 billion–around 2 percent. Women earn 75% of bachelor of fine arts and master of fine arts degrees in the states, and yet only 46% of working artists are women.

Some of the most influential artists in history were female – painters like Georgia O’Keeffe and Frida Kahlo were instrumental in altering female prominence in the art world. The Legendary Women Artists of Venice Awardees shine light on the benefits of creative expression, collaborative initiatives, and creative workspaces. They uphold the legacy of feminist art history and theory across multiple art disciplines. Our Awardees meet the criteria of considerable accomplishment, achievement, and contribution to the Arts and Venice Beach community – with over 10+ years experience represented by their professional efforts, work, vision, and commitment.

Artwork by Sofia Venegas

Our 2018 nominees Emily Winters, Judy Baca, Lucy Walker, Joelle Dumas, Jules Muck, Meryl Lebowitz, Jean Edelstein, and Christina Angelina were honored at the Erwin Hotel by Councilman Mike Bonin and George Francisco from the Venice Chamber of Commerce. Their work was recognized for its impact of and connections among the awardees themselves, and the effects made in the Venice neighborhood. 

Awardee Emily Winters co-founded the Venice Arts Council and marked history as the first woman to be hired in the 60’s as a billboard painter by Gannett, a billboard company. Emily’s mural ‘Endangered Species’ was restored by fellow Awardee Judy Baca, Founder and Artistic Director of SPARC’s Mural Rescue team. Since the 1970’s, SPARC has been a catalyst for social change through the arts and a home for artistic innovation. Lucy Walker, Emmy Award Winner and Academy Awards Nominee is best known for her revolutionary vision and devotion to film. She organized Wild Thoughts #TEDxVeniceBeach with speakers Agnes Varda, Moby, and Diane von Furstenberg. Joelle Dumas, Founder of Ecole Claire Fontaine, focuses on the next generation of artists at her 32 year old Multilingual, Art, and Nature school for children ages 2-7. She works for the benefit of children with the Children’s Committee of the Venice Neighborhood Council and as Co-Founder of the Venice Chamber of Commerce Education Committee. Awardees Jules Muck and Christina Angelina’s dedication to mural artistry in Venice have touched and changed countless people in our community with their notorious, instantly recognizable murals – providing ‘Instagrammable’ moments for tourists and Venice locals, alike. Jean Edelstein is known for her dedication to painting, dance, music, and theatre with over sixty years of Leadership in innovative performance and compassionate political commentaries. Last but not least, Awardee Meryl Lebowitz documented Venice still-lifes and landscapes for more than 20 years–Her work can be seen in collections worldwide.

The 2020 Legendary Women Artists of Venice Awardees were Robin Murez and MB Boissonnault. Murez is a long-time resident of Venice and is passionate about public art. She is currently hand-carving a 20’ Carousel to be installed at the Abbot Kinney Memorial Library. Boissonnault studied abroad but landed in The States and has been living in Venice for nearly 20 years. She has shown extensively at the Cadillac Hotel, Beyond Baroque, The Pacific Design Center, and for VICA.

The Legendary Women Artists of Venice Award is presented semi-annually to female artists whose life and work exemplifies the Venice Art Crawl’s mission of creating community through art, education, and social activism. The award anticipates a lifetime of achievement for its recipients and the meeting of a new sisterhood in the arts.

Lauren Doyle

Video of the 2020 Legendary Women Artists of Venice Awards.

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Venice Chamber of Commerce c/o VAC
PO Box 202
Venice, CA 90294