Member Spotlight on Anonymous Was A Woman

During the month of September, GIA's photo banner features artists and projects supported by Anonymous Was a Woman

The Anonymous Was A Woman (AWAW) Award celebrates its 20th anniversary in 2015. Created to spotlight women artists over 40, the Award recognizes women of demonstrated talent and accomplishment but who are still under the radar. AWAW winners have significantly contributed to their field, while continuing to grow and pursue their work. To date 191 women have won the unrestricted $25,000 Award. Art in America dubbed it “The Demure Award.”

If it is demure, it’s for a reason. The donor, nominators and panelists are all anonymous. This value is what makes the Award so special, wrote Elizabeth King, a 2014 winner from Richmond VA:

That this Award has gained such impact, and that it has a reputation all its own, apart from a famous name or originating corporate sponsor is stunning to me. l am not alone in feeling that it is a profoundly elegant reflection of its purpose in offering chairs to women not always invited to the table.

AWAW is proud of the diversity it has supported through its 2014 and past award winners. Awardees represent a broad spectrum of  disciplines, geographic regions, identities, and artistic motivations.

Do woman artists still need such special recognition? “It’s too bad we still have to make special awards for women artists, but I don’t think the playing field is level yet,” wrote Judith Dobrzynski in her blog Real Clear Arts this past July. We agree.


Anonymous Was A Woman, a program of FJC-A Foundation of Philanthropic Funds, is administered by Philanthropy Advisors, LLC, a comprehensive consulting and management organization for private philanthropy.