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  • Michele Rosenbaum

Art Pop Up/Open Studio

Updated: Jan 8

For about a year, I thought about hosting an art show with other local women artists. This weekend, it all came together as an art pop up in my home.  When planning this show, I was shocked to learn from Ali Lanenga that of the over 2,300 painting in the collection at the National Gallery in London, only 21 are by women.  I am really proud to have collaborated and created a showcase that highlights the value and beauty in women's art.

I asked four women artists that I greatly admire. I had four in mind since last year, Ali Lanenga, Donna Avedisian, Catherine Haley Epstein and Anne Crumpacker. I had not met Anne Crumpacker before and it probably took me several months to work up the courage to ask her to participate. It has been over 20 years since I have shown my work. When I did finally ask, Anne was so positive about the whole project and talked with me about “the artist’s way”. I am so grateful to her.

Turning my home into an art gallery for the weekend was a big task. I met with each artist individually and found the right space to showcase their work in my house. I learned so much from these meetings.

Originally, Anne gravitated towards showing her work in the dining room with the rich, dark walls. Anne and I ended up expanding where her work would show as soon as we realized the dining room space was too small for her work. Her lit piece based on a church outside of Osaka is really dramatic in the front entrance. And her pieces in the dining room with bamboo, gold and blue colors are stunning against the dining room wall color. Anne’s works are also really multidimensional/sculptural and can be looked at from both sides. Having them in the windows with the light highlight their beauty and detail.


Ali Lanenga’s art is very different from Anne’s but her darker floral works worked well in the dining room with the dark walls. Her lighter pieces both worked in the living room and family room spaces with the light, creamy walls. Ali grows her flowers and then photographs them. Some are past their peak and there is a painterly aspect to these photography images. She forms relationships with these flowers as she poses them and names them.

With Donna Avedisian, I immediately thought her work would be amazing on the white gallery walls on my lower level. The walls are gallery smooth and the abstract paintings with bright, varied colors are a perfect pop of color. Donna essentially had her own gallery downstairs and Catherine Haley Epstein had her own fragrance room on the main level in my library.

Catherine is a multi-disciplinary visual and scent artist. What is a scent artist? This subject has been explored thoroughly by Catherine’s book, Nose Dive, as creatives can learn how to utilize scent in their work. Scent is an often overlooked aspect of the art experience. Catherine brilliantly considers all of this in her work. My favorite scent is Madrone, but she has some really cool names on her scents like Ode to The Drummer.

 I installed my work primarily on the upper level which is an intimate space. My work is based on intimacy, identity, boundaries, emotions, layers and I wanted to invite guests into that experience. In my studio, guests could write a childhood memory and I liked that they did not write their names. The memory then becomes universal in a way. My large multimedia pieces were in the hallways and viewers were forced to consider them from close-up as opposed to from a distance. Generally viewers in galleries will have more space between them and a large painting.

 I love how it all came together with these strong women artists. We all have very different art that somehow works together in the same space. Women in the arts have a specific and worthy voice. Thank you to all who came and supported us on our journey as artists and took the time to experience our work.  Special thanks are also due to our sponsors, Spurlock Williams Real Estate and JHL Design.  These women are amazing in their own right and we appreciate their support.   

More articles on the barriers and success of women in art: 

If you would like to stay in touch on happenings with our artists and sponsors, please indicate on my connect form.

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