Beaches Museum opens art exhibit honoring women’s suffrage movement

Centennial of 19th amendment celebrated through abstract art

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The Beaches Museum hosted three North Florida abstract artists at the opening reception for The Ballot and the Brush: Celebrating Women’s Suffrage though Art on Friday, March 7.

Sara Conca, Tiffany Manning and Princess Simpson Rashid presented at the exhibit with work honoring the 100th anniversary of the passage of the 19th amendment, giving women the right to vote.

Conca, who’s contemporary “aquatic mystical series,” evokes her surroundings, said she wanted to create work that drew on the idea that “women have the incredible ability to win with love.” Conca uses natural mixed media of raw pigment colors, mica flakes and crystals to “immerse the viewer into the emotional energies” of a feminine power.

With energy and dance, Manning’s acrylic work aims to represent female empowerment, strength and victory through movement on canvas.

“My time in the studio is one part moving meditation and one part dance party for one,” said Manning. “This is where I tap into my bliss.”

Rashid’s work, comprised mainly of reds and blacks, are intended to reflect the African American woman’s perspective during the suffrage movement, which Rashid feels is largely overlooked.

“I chose red for all the suffering and sacrifice for us to be able to vote,” Rashid said. “Specifically, I used black to represent the black bodies. Maybe they didn't get as much attention or were listened to, but they were on the front lines as well.” 

Rashid, a recent breast cancer survivor, also drew from her pain during this time period, creating work that shows a “search for order out of chaos.” Her geometric abstractions are pulled from the canvas, giving her work emotional undertones of strength amidst disorder.

Chris Shea, an exhibit committee chair, said the Beaches Museum is proud of the current exhibit and the wealth of talent it has compiled. Shea said the museum is looking toward expanding similar showings for the future.

“We are trying to step it up a little bit and have more art exhibits, more frequently,” Shea said. “(We believe) there is sort of a void in the art community at the beach. We'd like to try to help fill that void with this fine arts gallery.”

The Ballot and the Brush: Celebrating Women’s Suffrage though Art will be on display through May 31. For more information about the exhibit, visit www.beachesmuseum.org. More information on the artists and their work can be found at princessrashid.com, saraconca.com and tiffanymanning.com.

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