Genius of Women celebrated, brings awareness to the arts

Neda Hamdan

Held at the main Orange County Public Library, the Women in the Arts, Inc. created the ‘Celebrating the Genius of Women’.  The event had over 100 women turn in their art work in hopes to allow their work be displayed in the library, as well as win the competition.

It went down to five finalists and the library reached out to the community to vote for their favorite piece from one of the artists. Rachel Hutter, Oksana Kaufman, Terre Lee Arrigoni, Leah Wiedemer and Xiomara Aleksic were the finalists and are all artists using mediums such as photography, paint, and even jewelry making.

“These five women are all winners,” Maria Guerrero said. “We wanted to give these women the opportunity to get feedback from the community.”

Women in the Arts, Inc. is a non-profit organization that focuses on women’s contributions to the arts, such as performing, visual, written and fine arts. Out of the five contestants there is a 1st and 2nd place, and three honorable mentions.

Two of Rachel Hutter’s jewelry pieces, “Harriet Tubman” and “Catherine of Aragon”, were honorable mentions , as well was Leah Wiedemer’s “Indecision” painting. Second place went to Xiomara Aleksic for her “Serenity” painting and first place went to Rachel Hutter for her “Lady Agnes Randolph” jewelry piece.

Rachel Hutter based her jewelry upon women who had struggled to separate gender bias and triumphed over personal obstacles. Hutter used chain mail, which historically was a male armor,  as an inspiration to create jewelry according to each era.

“I researched different women who really changed the world with the things that they did, in distinct ways,”  Hutter said. “Referencing these women and they way they’ve triumphed I think helps women today over their own obstacles.”