About Women Artists of the West


About WAOW

Women Artists of the West (WAOW) is a group whose specific objectives and purpose include uniting women artists; promoting appreciation of art created by women; encouraging technical excellence by educating artists and the public through exhibitions and workshops; encouraging professionalism by advising women artists regarding business practices; providing publicity and national awareness for members through advertising and web presence; and developing a spirit of unity among its members.

Our Beginnings as Women Artists of the American West

Women Artists of the American West (WAOAW) was founded in 1971 in Norco, California by a small group of women wanting to network as professionals and compete in the world of art. They pooled their efforts and began promoting their careers with shows and advertising. WAOAW soon became known for its high caliber of artists and distinctive western style.

Their debut exhibit was held in Palm Springs, California. They continued to show in locations such as the Cowgirl Hall of Fame in Fort Worth, Texas, in Las Vegas, Nevada, and then on to other areas of the country including New Mexico, Colorado, Wyoming, Mississippi, and Arizona. In these early years, the membership was limited to 35, each of whom played an active role, investing time and money in shows and advertisements to promote their professional growth.  Eventually the decision was made to increase membership in order to support the increasing demands for financing and coordinating the group’s activities.

WAOAW artists were known for their western pieces in various media. However, as many women artists in non-western genres wanted to become a part of the group’s legacy, in 1988 the bylaws were changed to embrace additional genre, subject matter and style. The membership chose to drop “American” from their name and became what is known today as Women Artists of the West.

Women Artists of the West as it is Today

Women Artists of the West (WAOW) is a unique and respected organization of approximately 200 professional women artists.

WAOW has experienced many changes and much growth in its decades of supporting and promoting art created by women. Within the realm of fine art, there is no restriction on genre or subject matter or location of its members.  Member artists work both in their indoor studios and en plein air.  They paint and sculpt still life and floral, landscapes and seascapes, figures and portraits, ranch and rural life, old west and contemporary west, wildlife and domestic animals, historical events and Native American subjects. Styles include abstract, impressionism, expressionism, realism, representational and contemporary in all fine art media in two and three dimensions.  They do it all!

The membership of WAOW now reaches across and throughout the country, with members in more than 30 states.  Some members live in remote areas, while others live in suburbia or the fast-paced city, from California to Maine to Texas to Ohio to Washington to Florida.

WAOW has long been interested in helping aspiring artists in the spirit of mentoring, and many of its members share their expertise through workshops and books and, for the members’ proprietary benefit, an online forum for art tips and extended discussions.

The common thread of WAOW artists is the passion for their work and the desire to express the joy and beauty of the world around them. During the organization’s existence, WAOW members have collectively made their mark on the art world. They have done this as a team of professionals, with plans to continue the journey together.

Women Artists of the West Remembers

The WAOW scholarship fund is currently accepting donations in honor of past members.

Cherished women artists we want to honor in our thoughts and hearts -

Margot Lennartz
Ann Templeton
Suzanne Ferguson
Sarah Elliott
Lynn Thomas
Lidabelle Wylie

Irish McCalla
Mary Thompson
Lois Montoya Rumohr
Marilyn Heed

Checks may be sent to our bookkeeper, Dina Beerle at the following address:

Dina Beerle
2627 Sawgrass St
El Cajon, CA 92019


Photographs from the Archives

WAOW at the HIlligoss Gallery - 2007

 Updated 3/16/15 NT  






Past Shows



Contact us

About us



Members' Only

Board Only



|  HOME  |  Contact WAOW   |   Membership?  |  Members' Page