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Holder recognized at national art exhibit in Washington D.C.

July 20, 2015
By cnp
Posted in Art

University of the Ozarks Assistant Professor of Art Dawn Holder was recently honored at the opening reception of "Organic Matters: Women to Watch 2015," at the National Museum of Women in the Arts (NMWA) in Washington, D.C.?

Holder’s porcelain installation, Monoculture, is one of 13 works of art selected by NMWA Associate Curator Virginia Treanor for the international competitive. The exhibit is on view at the national museum through Sunday, Sept. 13.  Holder’s participation in the exhibit is sponsored by the Arkansas Committee of the National Museum of Women in the Arts (ACNMWA). Holder’s Monoculture was submitted for consideration by ACNMWA guest curator Courtney Taylor, Little Rock resident and curator of Collections at the Art and Sciences Center for Southeast Arkansas in Pine Bluff.

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Dawn Holder, an assistant professor of art at Ozarks since 2011, recently made her national debut with her artwork, Monoculture, at the "Organic Matters: Women to Watch 2015" at the National Museum of Women in the Arts in Washington, D.C.

It is the national debut for Holder, a native of Atlanta who has taught at Ozarks since 2011.

An image from Holder’s installation was featured on the cover of the exhibit brochure as well as bus stop kiosks and the museum’s exterior signage.  She said Monoculture is a perfect fit for an Organic Matters exhibit that features artwork that refers or responds to the natural world.

"I find the intersection of nature and culture to be fertile ground for artistic exploration," Holder said. "I am particularly interested in the way we cultivate, manicure, rearrange and exploit the natural world. I am fascinated by suburban America’s desire to construct this hybrid artificial natural landscape and what it signifies in terms of time and resources. I think the lawn is our culture’s fantasy version of the natural world."   

Organic Matters is the fourth iteration of the national museum’s Women to Watch biennial competitive.  Each state and international outreach committee may nominate up to five artists from its region, one of which is selected for the exhibition.  The organizing idea for the 2015 biennial is "nature" with selected works giving evidence of ways contemporary women artists interpret their understanding of, relationship to, perspectives about the natural world in the 21st Century. 

Please visit to see the online exhibit.  To learn more about the national exhibit, visit

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Images from Holder’s artwork was used on signage throughout Washington D.C. to promote the Organic Matters exhibit.

ACNMWA was established as an affiliate of the national museum by Helen Walton in 1989 for the purpose of supporting its mission: to recognize the achievements of women artists of all periods and nationalities by exhibiting, preserving, acquiring, and researching art by women and by teaching the public about their accomplishments.  ACNMWA was established as an independent nonprofit organization in 1990 to advocate for Arkansas women artists and arts professionals by providing scholarships, internships, and exhibition opportunities.  ACNMWA sponsors a state tour of Arkansas submissions to the national Women to Watch competitive: the Arkansas Women to Watch exhibit will premiere Thursday, December 3, at the Art and Sciences Center for Southeast Arkansas in Pine Bluff and visit additional venues across the state for two years. 

Founded in 1981 and opened in 1987, NMWA is the only museum solely dedicated to celebrating the achievements of women in the visual, performing and literary arts. The museum’s collection features 4,500 works from the 16th century to the present created by more than 1,000 artists, including Mary Cassatt, Frida Kahlo, Alma Thomas, Lee Krasner, Louise Bourgeois, Chakaia Booker and Nan Goldin, along with special collections of 18th-century silver tableware and botanical prints. NMWA is located at 1250 New York Avenue, NW, Washington, D.C., in a landmark building near the White House. It is open Monday–Saturday, 10 a.m.–5 p.m., and Sunday, noon–5 p.m. For information, call 202-783-5000 or visit Admission is $10 for adults, $8 for visitors 65 and over and students, and free for NMWA members and youths 18 and under.