By Patrick Dennis

I am an artist and I’ve been thinking…

Women. They’re everywhere I turn. The woman who literally runs my office? Well, I couldn’t live without her and don’t plan on trying anytime soon.  She might be from Jersey and sometimes I’m afraid of her, but I know that thanks to her I’ll always shine.

And I know for a fact that the woman who manages my gallery does a far better job than I ever could. She must literally have the patience of a saint in addition to mad skills as an artist. Sometimes I just want to listen to her and watch, and learn.

My two daughters that I don’t see often enough are always in my thoughts and heart even if they’re not in my direct line of sight. Of course they always manage to be in my wallet somehow, but that’s the gift that just keeps on giving and I wouldn’t trade it for the world.

I hope I remember to show the appreciation for these women in my life often but sometimes human nature makes it easy to take the most wonderful things for granted, you know? When we’re comfortable, we rarely stop to think, “gee, this pillow is sure soft and clean.” We just fall asleep. So how timely that a good friend and talented woodworker sent me a video about women to wake me up.  It is a fantastic way to start celebrating March, Women’s History Month after all.

Women have always struggled. In school I learned about the struggles of American women fighting to be recognized as serious artists, and their exclusion during the formation of the Fauves in Paris around 1905, credited with the birth of Modernism. How fitting that the translation of ‘fauve’ is ‘wild beast.’ All men. Women never really got the chance to flex their own artistic muscle until late in the mid 20th century. Sure, there was the American Mary Cassatt who in the 1880’s achieved a level of notoriety and place in history from her impressionist portraits of elegant settings featuring women and children, but think of the permanent social impact of contemporary women artists such as Frieda Kahlo, Diane Arbus or Georgia O’Keefe who did not allow their art to remain in the shadows of convention. The effects of what they felt and created is still very much alive and being rediscovered today.

This month I hope you will take the advice of my thoughtful friend and appreciate the contribution of women in your life.  Enjoy the beauty, the softness, the unfathomable resolve and unpredictable mood swings these creatures employ to provide the very balance of our lives.  Whether in the creation of art or our children, we simply cannot live without women.

Upcoming Atlanta Art Events

March 9-11, 2012
2012 American Craft Council Atlanta Show
10 a.m. – 8 p.m. at the Cobb Galleria
Expect up to 225 crafters at this 23rd annual event

March 6, 2012
Oakhurst Community Garden
7 – 9 p.m. (Admission is $25)
435 Oakview Rd., Decatur
Painting recycled bottles with Molly Krava of to see how to make hanging glass bottle art using provided flattened bottles and special paint.

March 31
Stone Mountain Village Bluegrassroots Music & Arts Festival
10 a.m. – 7 p.m. on Main Street
This one day festival includes southern Bluegrass musicians on stage, street jams, Contra dancing as well as an arts & crafts show for up to 150 self-taught artists and artisans.

Patrick Dennis is an artist, gallery owner and President of the Atlanta Foundation for Public Spaces. Email him at

Collin Kelley

Collin Kelley has been the editor of Atlanta Intown for two decades and has been a journalist and freelance writer for 35 years. He’s also an award-winning poet and novelist.

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