Celebrating 120 Years of Pen Women is now published and available at the National League of American Pen Women online bookstore!
It is a coloring book with illustrations contributed by 23 different artist members of the National League of American Pen Women (NLAPW) from around the country. It began when Virginia Campbell, President of NLAPW, visited our local group – the Golden Gate-Marin County Branch. It was her idea to develop a coloring book (for adults, not children) to commemorate the 120th anniversary of NLAPW, and to have it available at the Biennial in April. I offered to help, and ended up taking on the whole project. It was a challenging but very rewarding experience. I was responsible for selecting and editing artwork, and I contributed several illustrations myself. I also wrote additional text and designed the front and back covers. Luckily, the Publications Chair of Pen Woman Press was always available with encouragement and guidance. I think we’re all very pleased with the result. I hope to see some of the Pen Women artists, as well as the President and Publications Chair, at the Biennial in Des Moines this April.
For more information about NLAPW, here’s the introduction I wrote for the coloring book:
The National League of American Pen Women, Inc., (NLAPW) is a group of professional
women writers, artists and composers organized in 1897 in Washington, D.C., by female writers seeking to combat the inequality with which professionals of “the fair sex” were treated by their male counterparts. Our members are journalists, painters, choreographers, sculptors, illustrators, poets and songwriters—just to mention a few of the creative fields we encompass.
NLAPW is the oldest women’s art organization in the United States. Over 55,000 writers, artists
and musicians have been proud to call themselves Pen Women. We currently have over 1,300 members and 73 branches.
Throughout NLAPW’s 120-year history, members have illustrated how important the contribution of women’s voices, minds and hands are to the arts. Grandma Moses and Georgia O’Keefe were famous Pen Women, as were Vinnie Ream, Eudora Welty, Pearl S. Buck, Eleanor Roosevelt, Amy Beach, Carrie Jacobs Bond, Mary McCleod Bethune and Maya Angelou.
NLAPW headquarters is the historic Pen Arts Building and Art Museum in Washington, D.C. The museum displays works by women artists in permanent and temporary exhibits and houses a library archiving the creative works of NLAPW members. It is also a home away from home for traveling members.
The Mission of NLAPW, a not-for-profit corporation, is to encourage, recognize and promote the production of creative work of professional standard in Art, Letters and Music, and through outreach activities provide educational, professional and creative support to members and non-members in these disciplines. The core values of NLAPW are respect, knowledge, creation and preservation of the arts.