Interview with Nancy Azara by Marie Gruber and fellow art students from the University Mozarteum Salzburg (Austria)
Mon. May 21st, 2018
Questions focused on Community, Feminism and NYFAI
Contributions by Emily Harris. Thank you to Marie Gruber and her class.


A large selection of Visual Diaries are now in the Special Collections and University Archives, Rutgers University Libraries, New Brunswick, NJ. They can be viewed upon request. Contact Fernanda Perrone for more information.


Currently Expanded from WNYC New York Public Radio Archives
Listen to Nancy Azara and Carol Stronghilos in conversation with Doris C. Freedman speaking about
"The Opening of the New York Feminist Art Institute" Tuesday, July 10, 1979

A Space of Their Own, a comprehensive online resource that documents the lives and careers of women artists.
Eskenazi Museum of Art, Indiana University

Artist Hazel Belvo is the subject of a new biography about her life and work as a feminist artist in Minnesota. She discusses the New York Feminist Art Institute during her visit to Nancy Azara's Workshop in the 1980's

Hazel Belvo: A Matriarch of Art by Julie L'Enfant
12 x 9", 256 pages, 275 color and b/w images
Published by Afton Press
Foreward by Robert Cozzolino


(RE)PRESENT: A Feminist Dialogue, Friday, November 30th, 6pm
at Ceres Gallery, New York, NY

Kara Walker, A Sublety or The Marveous Sugar Baby...
on the Occasion of the demolition of the Domino Sugar Refining Plant
, 2015


A Feminist Dialogue Across Generations

Truth to Power

In your experience, what historic/contemporary woman artist has manifested "truth to power" in their work?
Share how this artist has influenced you in your artmaking process and finished work.

Ceres Gallery
547 West 27th Street, #201
New York, NY 10001
(212) 947-6100

Friday, November 30th, 2018 from 6 – 8 pm

(RE)PRESENT 2018, what do we want from Feminism and how can we achieve it? How have things changed? Continuing in the tradition of the New York Feminist Art Institute, NYFAI (1979-1990) An event of    

For further information contact: Nancy Azara @ 917-572-7461,

Photo from Friday, Nov 6th. We had a lively discussion.


The Language of Art is Still Defined by Men, by Nancy Azara, The Brooklyn Rail, Sept. 2014

"Gender roles are ingrained in all of us. From the time we are born we are all "stamped" by our sex. Thousands of years of oppression will not change easily or quickly. Sometimes we lose this perspective and expect change now . . ." LINK TO ARTICLE


We had a great discussion Friday, November 21st about "Visiblity" and were excited to be joined by Fran Cottell and students from Camberwell College of Arts in London.



REPRESENT: "Creative Process" Continuing an intergenerational dialogue about the creative process. What words do you use to describe your work? What inspires you? How do you decide when a work is finished? How do you problem solve in your work, trust your decisions?

REPRESENT: "Creative Process" By examining facets of the art process, we hope to cull similarities and differences in the working habits of women artists and arts professionals. How is your work generated and developed? What does your studio look like? How has your life and education influenced your practice?

REPRESENT: "Politics of Power: Round 2" Continuing a discussion on the politics of power. What do we want from Feminism? How do we define power in this regard? What are the experiences of younger women and older women with power in relationship to their artwork in the studio and the artworld?

REPRESENT: "Politics of Power" and personal definitions of "Power" in life and art.
How do you see yourself in relationship to power? Do you think of your artwork as powerful? Do others? What artists or artworks do you find powerful?

REPRESENT: "Feminist Engagement with the Canon of Male Artists" How do you see yourself engaging in a lifetime or artmaking? How do women artists and art professionals rebel against, agree with, integrate the male cannon of artists - going back to the Renaissance - into their thinking about art, and art practice? How do you see yourself in the histor(ies) of art?

REPRESENT: "The Personal is Political."
A contemporary, intergenerational response to the 70s Feminist mantra. How does this philosophy apply today? How has it changed in relative to the current climate?

REPRESENT: An inter-generational response to: WACK! Art and the Feminist Revolution, P.S.1
Looking at an historic portrayal of Feminist Art and its relevance to now. Visiting the past, inventing the future.

REPRESENT: Continues, Feminism + Art .
What are our commonalities and differences? We will explore commonalities and differences of feminism and art. Bring print-out, photos of your work.

REPRESENT: A Feminist Dialogue Across Generations
Join us and participate in an open discussion about mainstreaming of the women's movement, contemporary attitudes about Feminist Art with multiple view points and perspectives.

REPRESENT: Feminism(s) + Art Dialogue Flyers
Click on thumbnail for flyer

REPRESENT: Feminism(s) + Art is a series of intergenerational dialogues to encourage discussion across generations about contemporary issues for women in the arts and feminism(s) in the arts. The topics originate from the participants. Questions have included: What is feminist art? How should it be historicized? Personal definitions of “power” in your art, in life? How do you see yourself within the canon of white male artists? Everyone is welcome.

The REPRESENT dialogue grew out of a small group that was meeting to talk about The New York Feminist Art Institute and to explore how the school could gain recognition and visibility for its contribution to the feminist art movement and artworld. As curious younger women, not involved in the institute, began to come to meetings, a group evolved to create regular discussions between generations. REPRESENT dialogues currently alternate between AIR Gallery and SOHO20 Gallery and are scheduled every three months.

To be added to the email list for future dialogues, please email



Recovering a Lost Cultural Herstory 1969-1982: NYC Feminist Artists Speak Out, Organized by Nancy Azara, Marjorie Kramer and Kay Turner. Tuesday, March 3rd, 4-6pm, 2015 at Fordham University. Thank you to Professor Aseel Sawalha, Ph. D. Assoc. Prof. of Anthropology and Fordham University for inviting us.
An audio recording of the event will be housed at Fordham University for future research and in the archives at Rutgers' University.
Both video and audio are available as a link - so please be in touch if you would like to view or listen to a recording of the event.

Jan 22-Feb 23, 2013 at the Katherine E. Nash Gallery, U of M, Minneapolis, MN The House We Built: Feminist Art Then and Now
Exhibitions and related public programs that explore the national network of feminist art activity that emerged in the 1970s and changed the course of contemporary art.

COLLEGE ART ASSOCIATION (CAA) | February 22-25, 2012 in Los Angeles: Wed. Feb. 22nd, 2:30-5pm
Katie Cercone and Nancy Azara will be speaking about (RE)PRESENT: An Ongoing Intergenerational Collaboration as part of the panel Necessary Positions: Intergenerational collaboration in feminist art and activism moderated by Maria Elena Buszeck.

Pictured and panelists: Necessary Positions: Intergenerational collaboration in feminist art and activism: Maria Elena Buszeck (moderator),
Nancy Azara and Katie Cercone, Margaret Cuonzo and Liz Rudey, Joanne Heath, Xenobia Bailey, Suzanne Lacy and Andrea Bowers.


Visual Diaries Exhibition at Auburn University at Montgomery
Accompanying the exhibition, Nancy Azara will speak about her work, the Visual Diaries Exhibition and conduct a Visual Diaries Workshop. Lecture: 2-3pm; Workshop: Friday, March 5th, 2011 from 1-5pm

Feminist Art Collectives in New York: An Anthropological View, Prof. Aseel Sawalha
Illustrated lecture at the New York Public Library Schwartzman Building,

Tuesday, Dec. 14, 2010 @ 4pm

Professor Aseel Sawalha at the New York Public Library (Dec., 2010)

Click link for more information:

"Visual Diaries"
Exhibition Dates: Nov 15 - Dec 22, 2011
Opening Reception: Tuesday, November 16th @ 2:30pm
Fairleigh Dickinson University, University Hall Room 11, 1000 River Road, Teaneck, NJ 07666
For Directions, Call (201) 692-2801

Visual Diaries Exhibition

Visual Diaries Exhibition

Visual Diaries Exhibition

"Visual Diaries"
Exhibition Dates: March 17th - April 14th, 2010
Opening Reception: Wednesday, March 17th at 11am
Suffolk Couty Community College, Grant Campus, Crooked Hill Road, Brentwood, NY 11717
For Directions, Call (631) 851-6702

visual diaries

Women's Studio Workshop, Summer, 2010
Nancy Azara - Visual Diaries Workshop

Visual Diaries_nancyazara and nana olivas

NYFAI Visual Diaries Panel, WAAM, Woodstock, NY, Sat. April 10th, 2010
Consciousness-Raising, Visual Diaries, Art-Making Workshop (1979-1990)

Artists on panel: Nancy Azara, Darla Bjork, Mari-Claire Charba, Sarah Greer Mecklem; moderated by Nancy Azara. NYFAI (1979-1990) was a school and community resource for women in the arts and their friends located in downtown New York City founded to create an environment for the training of women in the arts. The challenge was to discover a teaching method which encouraged women to use personal experience to create radiant art of “our” own. One of these methods was articulated in the Consciousness-Raising, Visual Diaries, Art-Making Workshop, created and facilitated by Nancy Azara, a visual expression of wordless feelings; personal hieroglyphics linked with content through consciousness raising by making an artist’s book.

The panel started out by showing slides of the visual diaries beginning in the early 1980s and continuing for some, as well as images of the founders, with personal statements from the participants, 3 of whom were on the panel. Founders included: Nancy Azara, Lucille Lessane, Irene Peslikas, Miriam Schapiro, Carol Stronghilos and Selena Whitefeather. (flyer below).


Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ

"Bridging Generations: Women Artists and Organizations from Rutgers' Collection"
Exhibition Dates: October 5th - January 31st, 2010,
The Alexander Library

Visual Diaries from the New York Feminist Art Institute (1979-1990) will be featured in the exhibition "Bridging Generations: Women Artists and Organizations from Rutgers' Collection” at the Alexander Library at Rutgers University October 5th – January 31st, 2010. The books are from the “Consciousness-Raising, Visual Diaries, Art-Making” workshop that was facilitated by Nancy Azara at NYFAI and span from 1979 to the present. They are being shown for the first time.

"Bridging Generations: Women Artists and Organizations from Rutgers' Collection"
Keynote speaker:
Hillary Robinson, Dean of the College of Fine Arts at Carnegie Mellon University.
Opening reception: Monday, October 5th, 2009 at 4pm,
Alexander Library, 4th Floor Auditorium;

New York Feminist Art Institute, NYFAI, (1979-1990) Its Programs and Its Legacy”
Panelists: Nancy Azara, Joan Arbeiter, Emily Harris and Rhonda Schaller
Thursday, November 19th, 2009, 4-6pm
Alexander Library, Pane Room, 1st Floor

A discussion of the development of the New York Feminist Art Institute from 1977, its opening in 1979 and its struggles and achievements. The panel with Nancy Azara, Joan Arbeiter and Rhonda Schaller, NYFAI participants, will discuss their experience at NYFAI; Emily Harris (born in 1977) will discuss her involvement in the oral histories and how this relates to her experience as a younger artist.

For more information contact Fernanda Perrone,

Helen Stockton-NYFAI’S oldest student in conversation
with younger students, Winter 1980

NYFAI ORAL HISTORY PROJECT, Rutgers University Library


New York Feminist Art Institute

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