Colorado Women to Watch

August 18 – October 21, 2023


Colorado Women to Watch features five widely acclaimed artists who will transform CVA’s galleries through works that defy the male-dominated narrative of art. The work of Kim DickeyAna María HernandoMaia Ruth LeeSuchitra Mattai and Senga Nengudi breaks through boundaries, emphasizes the strength of female artists, and reshapes our perception of power. Through various media we witness these artists repossessing the discarded and retelling subverted histories with narratives of resiliency.

“Despite the writings, legislation, and impassioned work of many people for decades to create equity in the arts, women artists do not receive the opportunities, resources or support that male artists do, still in 2023. This exhibition is a celebration and amplification of the ground-shaking, influential work of five women artists who have each developed a visual language of transcendence,” states Cecily Cullen, CVA Director & Curator.


Dickey_Phoenix Bottle Crop for WEB

The ceramic sculptures of Kim Dickey (b. White Plains, NY) address the dismissal of decorative work as craft rather than art and transform perceptions of traditional decorative ceramics. Much of Dickey’s work incorporates bocage, the Rococo decorative art tradition of encasing objects in clustered, miniature flowers. Using such techniques, she creates large-scale sculpture from delicate, handmade elements traditionally used as decoration for small objects, transforming miniature into monumental.

Visit these sites for more information about the artist:

Kim Dickey’s Exhibition Statement

Kim Dickey’s Website

Denver Post review of Kim Dickey’s work by Ray Mark Rinaldi

Westword review of Kim Dickey’s work by Michael Paglia

Hernando_Cloud_Crop Copy


Ana María Hernando (b. Buenos Aires, Argentina) uses a variety of media to explore femininity and the power found within. Hernando seeks to make visible that which is invisible, featuring materials that are delicate, feminine, and often created or used predominantly by women.  Her work centers around textiles and most recently has transformed into large-scale sculptures of tulle, a material associated with brides, ballerinas, and fairytales. The scale and environment of these tulle sculptures imbue the fabric with power. The brightly colored fabrics cascade in great flows, suggesting forceful movement, or tower above viewers in monumental forms.

Visit these sites for more information about the artist:

Ana María Hernando’s Exhibition Statement

Ana María Hernando’s Website

My Modern Met review of Ana María Hernando’s work

Left Hand Valley Courier review of Ana María Hernando’s work


Lee_Maia Ruth Labyrinth copy


Maia Ruth Lee (b. Busan, South Korea) excavates her migratory upbringing in bodies of work that present the psychological experience of living a diasporic life. For this exhibition, we look to the glyphs Lee has created from the cast-off metal bits of various structures. Glyphs are the shapes and lines that we use to graphically represent language. In this way, Lee creates her own visual language pulling from the three very different cultures that have informed her identity: Korean, Nepali, American. She sees these glyphs as a combination of physical object and graphical representation, pictographs crossed with talismans.


Visit these sites for more information about the artist:

Maia Ruth Lee’s Exhibition Statement

Maia Ruth Lee’s Website

HYPERALLERGIC review of Maia Ruth Lee’s work

The Amp interview with Maia Ruth Lee



Suchitra Mattai (b. Guyana, South America) uses her work as an exploration of diasporic identity and a reimagining of the myths, memories and narratives surrounding colonialism. Mattai pulls vintage materials from the cultures that inform her identity with a focus on objects typically associated with or crafted by women. She reconfigures these everyday objects into intricately patterned, jewel-colored, sculptures and paintings that captivate viewers’ attention as they reveal the stories behind them.

Visit these sites for more information about the artist:

Suchitra Mattai’s Exhibition Statement

Suchitra Mattai’s Website

HYPERALLERGIC review of Suchitra Mattai’s work

Artsy review of Suchitra Mattai’s work


SNE_29760_Performance_Piece_1978_B WEB

Senga Nengudi (b. Chicago, IL), is an essential artist within the history of performative art having arrived at her practice via the study of art and dance. Her performative sculpture is about creating an electric experience that leaves the viewer vibrating with connection. Nengudi creates extraordinary environments out of lost and forgotten places filling them with elusive shapes resembling limbs from the human body. Her sculptures have developed out of a fascination with the elasticity of the human body, particularly the female body as it experiences pregnancy, and speak to how life pulls and stretches the body out of shape.

Visit these sites for more information about the artist:

Senga Nengudi’s Exhibition Statement

Senga Nengudi’s Website

Art in America review of Senga Nengudi’s work

W Magazine review of Senga Nengudi’s work


These five artists were nominated for inclusion in the exhibition A New World: Women to Watch 2024 at the National Museum of Women in the Arts (NMWA) in Washington, D.C.  The Women to Watch exhibition series is designed to increase the visibility of, and critical response to, promising women artists. Nominated for consideration by the Colorado Committee for the National Museum of Women in the Arts (CCNMWA), the five artists were selected to represent Colorado on the national level by Nora Burnett Abrams, Ph.D., Mark G. Falcone Director, MCA Denver. The exhibition at CVA was curated by Cecily Cullen. NMWA chose Ana María Hernando to participate in the A New World: Women to Watch 2024 exhibition.

Colorado Women to Watch Artist Panel

CVA welcomed Nora Burnett Abrams, Ph.D., Mark G. Falcone Director, MCA Denver, and artists from the exhibition for a conversation about the artists’ influential work and artistic careers while, pondering the current state of representation. The talk was full of inspiration for us all.

Recorded 09-14-23

Upcoming Events

6-8 PM

11 October

Culture Club

6:30 PM

20 October

Dance Performance