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Feminist Art: Intergenerational Panel Discussion Featuring Nancy Azara, Rhonda Schaller, and Joan Arbeiter

November 18, 2009 @ 4:00 pm - 6:00 pm

3 – 5pm

Members of the Rutgers University community and the general public are invited to attend a panel discussion on an innovative art school for women that influenced a generation of women artists. The panel discussion, “The New York Feminist Art Institute: Its Programs and Its Legacy,” will be held on Thursday, November 19th, starting at 4:00 pm, in the Pane Room on the 1st floor of the Alexander Library in New Brunswick.

The New York Feminist Art Institute (NYFAI) was a pioneering art school for women, founded in 1979 in New York City by Nancy Azara, Miriam Schapiro, Carol Stronghilus, Irene Peslikis, Lucille Lessane, and Selina Whitefeather. NYFAI’s mission was to examine issues relating to gender, self, and identity through a non-traditional curriculum. Within the context of group sessions, students concentrated on developing a better understanding of themselves and their position as women before embarking on the study of artistic technique. The chronic shortage of funding ultimately forced NYFAI to close in 1990, although some of its innovative programs continue in other venues.

The panel discussion features sculptor Nancy Azara, one of the founders and board members of NYFAI; artists and NYFAI participants Joan Arbeiter and Rhonda Schaller; and Emily Harris, who will discuss the NYFAI oral history project and how it relates to her experience as a younger artist. Visual diaries from NYFAI are featured in the exhibition “Bridging Generations: Women Artists and Organizations from Rutgers’ Collections” currently on display in the Alexander Library.

The exhibition will be on display in Gallery ’50 and the Special Collections and University Archives Gallery on the first floor and lower level of the Alexander Library until January 30, 2010. Gallery hours are Monday through Friday 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and Saturday 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.

This public program was made possible by a grant from the New Jersey Council for the Humanities, a state partner of the National Endowment for the Humanities. Any views, finding, conclusions or recommendations in these programs do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities or the New Jersey Council for the Humanities. The event is co-sponsored by the Institute for Women and Art, TheFeministArtProject, and the Women Artists Archives National Directory (WAAND).


The Institute for Women and Art welcomes all visitors with disabilities. Please contact the IWA for further details and information regarding accommodation of specific needs at: or 732-932-3726.


November 18, 2009
4:00 pm - 6:00 pm
Event Category:


Alexander Library, Pane Room
169 College Avenue Pane Room
New Brunswick, NJ 08901 United States


Fernanda Perrone
(732) 932-7006