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Contemporary Women Leaders: Portraits by April Waters

An exhibition of six portraits of contemporary women leaders by Salem artist April Waters will open on Feb. 20 and continue through May 16, 2010, in Willamette University's Mary Stuart Rogers Music Center. The exhibition includes portraits of Helen Caldicott from Australia; Malalai Joya from Afghanistan; Wangari Maathai from Kenya; Vandana Shiva from India; and Cindy Sheehan and Amy Goodman from the U.S.

Each woman depicted by Waters is a social or environmental activist who has bravely stood for humanitarian and environmental justice. Over three years, Waters traveled throughout the U.S. to meet each woman. She read their books, listened to their speeches and obtained permission to paint their portraits. Moreover, friends of the artist who traveled to Afghanistan, Africa and India brought back stories of each woman that were eventually woven into these works.

Waters holds a bachelor's degree in fine arts from the University of Colorado at Boulder, and she did further study at the Art Center School of Design in Los Angeles and California State University at Fullerton. She has been featured in numerous solo and group exhibitions over the past 20 years and is included in public and private collections in California and Oregon, including those at Oregon State University, Mt. Angel Abbey and Salem Hospital, among many others.

"Contemporary Women Leaders: Portraits by April Waters" is co-sponsored by the Hallie Ford Museum of Art and the Women's and Gender Studies program at Willamette University.