SPAACES is honored to exhibit the Petticoat Painters, one of the longest continuously exhibiting women’s art groups in the nation. SPAACES has a goal of supporting women artists, with 70% of our programs reserved for women artists. This exhibit showcases the courage and persistence all women artists must have in pursuing their craft in today’s contemporary art world. Becoming and working as a woman artist remains a gendered issue. The social world of art can be under-stood as a gendered organization with multiple layers of intentional and unintentional inequality (Acker, 1990). Choosing art as a career is daunting, especially for those who are presented with limited choices to begin with (most often women and the working-class). For many women the art career is shoved amidst family duties, while for others it is put away and taken back out after they have finished raising their children or completed careers. The Petticoat Painters have successfully maintained their studio practice and exhibition records in the face of adversity, some of them, over a lifetime. By connecting others to a larger purpose, The Petticoat Painters inspire commitment, boost resolve, and help women artists find deeper meaning in their work and in the fulfillment of their art careers.

The Petticoat Painters:

Despite their wealth of talent, the women in 1950’s Sarasota, were unable to find exhibition opportunities. When Marty Hartman was awarded first prize by the Sarasota Art Association, she did not receive the cash prize presented to her male predecessors, but a paper certificate instead. This slight was the impetus for her to establish a group of likeminded women artists determined to mount their own exhibitions. The initial group of seven women artists chose the name The Petticoat Painters to satirize the way women’s art was dismissed and have elected to keep the name for the struggle it implies. The National Museum for Women in the Arts reports only 13.7% of living artists represented by galleries in North America are women. The National Endowment for the Arts found that women artists aged 55–64 earn only 66¢ for each $1 earned by men. Members of the Petticoat Painters continue to bring these inequalities to the forefront and draw strength from each other as they address prevailing challenges. The group does not have a unified doctrine about art; rather each artist is encouraged to pursue her own unique path. Each generation of members evolves its own identity framed by contemporary thinking. We believe women’s voices united tell a unique and distinctive story.


Opening Night Reception: May 3rd, 2024 | 6:00 – 8:00pm

Exhibition Dates:  May 3rd – June 1st | Gallery Hours Thurs, Fri, Sat, 11-3 or by Appt.

Lecture Program: May 16th | Thursday 6:00 – 7:00PM

Tickets Members $5 Non-Members $10 must reserve online, Hybrid In-person/Zoom