Thanking Liana Mooney

It is not often that we take the time to thank someone.  The National Association of Women Artists, Florida Chapter is honoring Liana Mooney, founder of the Florida Chapter.  She has been not only a pillar of the art community but a progressive thinker and inspiration to generations of women artists.  The  Rickie Report recommends you look into joining NAWA, networking with other members and being inspired by women such a Liana, whom we interviewed for this publication.

 

 

 

 

Feelings of Nature – 1971 Accepted by National Academy of Design for National Exhibition

 

 

TRR: Please tell our readers how you became involved in NAWA.

LM:  A friend of mine suggested that I apply for membership to the N.A.W.A.., which I did in October 1978, and to my surprise I was accepted. The following month, in November, I was invited to be on the Board of Directors. Wow, what a ride it has been.

I fell in love with the spirit of the five founders, Grace Fitz-Randolph, Edith M. Prellwitz, Adele Frances Bidell, Anita C. Ashley, and Elizabeth S. Cheever, who on the evening of January 31, 1889 met at Grace’s studio on Washington Square, NYC and formed
The Women’s Art Club, which later, after many transformations, became The National Association of Women Artists, Inc.  These pioneers have always been a great inspiration for me.
It was hard for women to exhibit their work in those times. They decided to do something by establishing a women’s organization where they could exhibit their work because it was GOOD. They felt that “ creative achievement need carry no sex discrimination.”
The purpose of this group was to showcase and serve women artists by promoting and encouraging growth through all appropriate means.  This purpose has been carried out strongly throughout N.A.W.A.’s 123 years of existence.

“Regata” – Watercolor

TRR: Florida is the only state with a NAWA Chapter outside of New York.  Can you comment on that?
LM:  For all these years N.A.W.A. has continually served and promoted women artists, encouraged aspiring artists and reached out to the community through art programs free of charge.
In Florida, our Chapter is a vital art environment with award winning and recognized professional artists who carry on N.A.W.A.’s purpose.
We have established a Scholarship Fund for talented and needy  high school students of the Alexander Dreyfoos School of the Arts in West Palm Beach, who plan to make the visual arts their life career.
The Florida Chapter is an enthusiastic and generous group who reaches out to the community by providing excellent exhibitions, receptions and art programs free of charge. We are hoping to establish more Chapters throughout the Country,
We look back with pride to N.A.W.A. ‘s long and rich legacy, and forward to a successful future, facing new challenges of the future with new responses, but without departing from the purpose of the past.
TRR: You began as a representational artist and have  moved toward abstract.  How did this transition occur?

LM:   I was studying water color with Edgar Whitney, an academician, to whom I am very grateful. From him I earned the most basic rules, the elements and principals of design, which made my move to the abstract style very easy.

Although I loved painting in the representational style, I felt that painting in abstract would be more challenging. I felt that the essence of things that surrounded me was more important than the objects themselves.  I strive to portray the emotional impact of the scene.  In expressing my impressions in abstract form, I am consciously freeing form and color from Nature to focus on the essential order of things as I see and feel them.
I have painted the “Feelings of Nature” series using different media from water color to oil, mixed media, black/white, pastels and collages.   In between these changes I painted monoprints and monotype, and also encaustic.  But I always seem to go back to my “Feelings of Nature” on canvas and on paper. And this is where I am now.
TRR: What advice would you give to aspiring women artists today?
LM:   BELIEVE in your goal and a higher Spirit that will guide you.  Determination, perseverance and great passion will help you
reach unthinkable aims.
Blue Oil on Canvas:

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