Northwest Area Arts Council is proud to be a part of Women's Works 25th Anniversary Show.  We welcome your support for this milestone year.  Please contact us if you wish to sponsor an upcoming show or name an award in honor of a loved one or your own art cause.  We would love to work with you as we strive to maintain an important link with the people and businesses in our community.



Old Court House Arts Center

Woodstock, Illinois


 Our sponsors for the Show are as follows:

Massage Envy

Liquitex Artist Heavy Material Heavy Body Paints

Lynfred Winery Certificates for up to 10 Adults for a

Scheduled tour and Wine Tasting Event

Lettuce Entertainment You, Inc

Swiss Maid Bakery



PLEASE CONTACT  US : www.naac4art.org

The Old Court House
Workshops of Interest

Jeanine Hill-Soldner, ILWorkshop for Contemporary Artists

As we celebrate the 25th year of Women's Works, let's step back for a moment and remember the days when the show was in its infancy.  A group of very dedicated artistic women had been working from their homes and garages to create their artwork.   They were scattered throughout the northwest suburbs of Chicago, far from the urban art scene and the chances it offered to easily engage in dialogue with other artists.   Their connection to the art world had been through the art departments at Northern Illinois University and McHenry County College, two important institutions located in rural northern Illinois.  The first three shows were held at MCHenry County College in coordination with women's History Month. 

After, the third year WCA was approached by by The Northwest Area Arts Council, which at the time two women Carol-Ann Harris and Ann Nevills showed a great interest in this impressive show.  It seemed the time had come to take the show further and open it up to the McHenry County artists.  It was then that Women's Works became it's own show, which is on it's own would celebrate the creative vision and dreams of women in the rural community of Woodstock, Crystal Lake and McHenry County.

The dream of the founder's became a reality Women's Works was held annually from then on in the historic town of Woodstock, Il, in the month of March to celebrate the women of this great community.  It was a non-juried show.  The Workshop for Contemporary was also growing and two new members joined in 2001, Patricia Tanner and Jeanine Hill-Soldner. 

 The women artists in this community saw a need for a show where they could present art that expressed their own view of the contemporary world.  There weren't many opportunities in the early eighties for women to showcase such a bold artistic vision, so they formed a thought-provoking group called the Workshop for Contemporary Artists.  The year was 1986, before the advent of the internet and email made it much easier for like-minded individuals to form a network and communicate with each other.  Yet this group of friends, each of whom had a particular idea for her own art, successfully encouraged a group of women to contribute their work to the show.  Today, we can only imagine how difficult it was to get the exhibit off the ground, especially since these artists lived in the distant suburbs of Chicago.  The early Workshop meetings were largely due to the combined efforts of these women:  Nancy Seidler, Doreen Tobin, Rita Halvorsen, Alice White, Judith Nahill and Lynn CarlsonJennifer Zizman, British Columbia

 Initially, the Workshop was focused on brainstorming ideas for its mission, exploring various art-related activities for the group, and developing an organizational structure.   Also, the founders wanted to create a strong support system for the community of women artists, as well as the opportunity to receive feedback from their peers.  The Workshop's mission evolved to include the following elements:

1. Teaching, lecturing, and demonstrating the individual expertise of Workshop members.

2.  Becoming a non-profit organization.

3.  Organizing and presenting juried shows as well as member shows.

4.  Publishing a monthly newsletter for members.

The first three shows of what ultimately became Women's Works were held at McHenry County College.  These exhibits were held in March in conjunction with Women's History Month.  An unexpected development after the third year of the exhibit was the support and involvement of the Northwest Area Arts Council.  The combined efforts of Naac and Carol Ann Harris of the Community Arts Council were pivotal in taking the show to a national level.  Renamed "Women's Works," the show was reborn as a celebration of art by women.  The exhibit was moved to The Old Court House Art Center in Woodstock, Illinois.  The Workshop for Contemporary Artists has maintained its important, supportive connection with the Womens Works show to this day.  Over the years, many jurors and judges have been selected from the main group that has remained in touch.  This year, founders Nancy Seidler and Lynn Carlson will serve as jurors.  We are so proud to have these wonderful artists as jurors for the 25th Anniversary show.

 The following women exhibited at the first Women's Works, held at McHenry County College:

Esther Aron, Millie Ardnt, Gretchen Baros, Mary Alice Bernadin, *Lynn Carlson, Peg Cullen, Doris Davis-Gallagher, Sharon Ebert, Shirlee Estep, Linda Kelly Fosse, Catherine Fugatt, Susan Galloway, Kit Goble, Johanna Gullick, Gail Gunter-Trausch, Linda Gurgose, Debra Gust (no relation to Chair), *Rita Halvorsen, Joan Hasselman, Lynn Huebsch, Vera Jagielski, Joyce Johns, Lorna Jones, Lynn Krause, Sallie Clay Lanham, Helen Leibhardt, Marylynn McLaughlin, *Judith Nahill, Diane Nelson, Ann Nevills, Jay Penoyer, Barbara Reed, Susan Robe, Pat Rotello,* Nancy Seidler, P.K. Shader, Karyl Shields, Florette Sokulski, Frances Stake, Geraldine Stern, Gloria Stewart, Pamela Thomas, Marsha Walker, Alice White, and Donna Jill Witty.

 Judith Nahill, IL, Sky

*Workshop for Contemporary Artists 

Judith Nahill, Storm Clouds