By Stephanie Wilks
February 17, 2012
Julie Baughman, Melanie Garner, Carol Faulhaber, and Mary Lou Hoffer
There’s something romantic about a group of people who gather together in support of a common cause. And when they mix and mingle over cultural events complete with alcoholic beverages – well then, the group is downright contagious. If you haven’t yet had the pleasure of meeting the ladies of Women Helping Women, or attended one of their “Sunday Salons,” then you should. But be warned: they’re passionately infectious.
Painting on wood by Matilda Brown circa 1600’s (top), Painting of a woman by Cincinnati area artist Dixie Seldon, circa 1900’s
“Women in American Art… A Celebration,”delighted both veterans and newcomers of W.H.W.’s Sunday salons at the beautiful home of Dr. Robert and Joan Cody this week. Not only did we learn about the great work of the Women Helping Women charity, which benefits victims of domestic abuse, sexual assault, and stalking in Southwest Ohio, but we were also educated about the rich history of American Art, with a focus on female artists, by a history-loving couple who have spent decadescarefully developing their personal collection.
Attendees were treated upon arrival to adelectable array of hors d’oeuvres, wine, and a clever cocktail of blood orange infused with basil – an apropos beverage choice for February. The beverage was quite the hit. In case you’re interested in creating a version of the Cody’s signature cocktail, here is a similarrecipe.
After food, cocktails, and chit-chat, we were introduced to Hamilton County Judge Heather Russell, who described her positive experiences with Women Helping Women and explained how the organization works diligently to aid needy individuals both inside and outside the courthouse.
“The Nest” oil on canvas by artist Mary Whyte (center), the frame was custom built and gilded by her husband. The piece is surrounded by watercolors also by Mary White of Greenville, SC.
Originally founded in 1973, the social service agency provides extensive crisis intervention, advocacy, and support to some of the most emotionally and legally needy women and men who suffer physical abuse in this area. They serve 12,000 people each year. Needless to say, a social gathering focused on the study of American women in art paired fluentlywith the core mission of Women Helping Women.
Rembrandt’s Raising Lazarus from the Dead Viewing an Elizabeth Duvenek self-portrait
Per typical Women Helping Women Sunday salons, we spent the rest of the afternoonhaving fun and discussing interesting ideas. Dr. Robert Cody conducted a thorough tour of his traditional home, elucidating attendees about some of the earliest renowned female artists, as well as American time periods of art and the various influences. Amongst an extensive collection from American artists, are pieces byRembrandt, Manet, and Winslow Homer – perhaps you’ve heard of them?
“Giraffes,” by renowned New York City artist Leroy Nieman
Not only did we have the pleasure of viewing various paintings and sketches, but we were also spoiled to an incredible display of American quilts, many dating back to the 1700s. To describe the entire experience as humbling would be an understatement. My only regret is not bringing a better camera!
If cultural and educational events like “Women in Art… A Celebration” spark your interest,consider attending a future Sunday salon. Women Helping Women also hosts salons specifically for young professionals entitled “Not Your Mother’s Salons.”