top of page

Strong Women Rising

I am interested in women’s stories, particularly the daily lives of “ordinary” women who have pushed gender equality forward. With the "Strong Women Rising" series, I tell stories from suffrage to 1930s beauticians to the "essential workers" of the COVID pandemic to the Dobbs decision. Let's take a moment to appreciate strong women.  

Thank you to my brother Larry Matelski who made all the special frames.

Homage During the Pandemic and Always

There are five individual "homages." The project started during the COVID pandemic when society appreciated "essential workers" like healthcare workers, teachers, and grocery store workers. 

These "essential workers" are always indispensable. They help our society function. I've added a farmer and a bus driver. There are many others as well. Are there other "essential workers" or "essential people?" Email me at maureepc@gmail.com with your suggestions. 

Homage During the Pandemic and Always

Homage During the Pandemic and Always

Let's recognize, appreciate and honor essential workers. Not only are farmers, teachers, grocery workers, healthcare workers, and bus drivers critical during an epidemic, but they make our communities function every day. We light a candle in their honor. Homage.  Total minimum size of the 5 Homage artworks: 35"h x 145"w. Thank you to Larry Matelski who made all of these special frames. Individual Homages follow.

Homage - Farmer

Homage - Farmer

We light a candle in their honor. Homage. Acrylics on canvas, gilded wood, electronic votive candle and holder, seeds. 34"h x 25"w

Homage - Teacher

Homage - Teacher

We light a candle in their honor. Homage. Acrylics on canvas, gilded wood, electronic votive candle and holder, fake apple, pencils. 34"h x 25"w

Homage - Grocery Worker

Homage - Grocery Worker

We light a candle in their honor. Homage. Acrylics on canvas, gilded wood, electronic votive candle and holder, surface cleaner. 34"h x 25"w

Homage - Healthcare Worker

Homage - Healthcare Worker

We light a candle in their honor. Homage. Acrylics on canvas, gilded wood, electronic votive candle and holder, fake vaccination card, empty vaccine vials, hypodermic needles. 34"h x 25"w

Homage - Bus Driver

Homage - Bus Driver

We light a candle in their honor. Homage. Acrylics on canvas, gilded wood, electronic votive candle and holder, bus passes. 34"h x 25"w

Still and Still and Still We Rise

Still and Still and Still We Rise

(triptych) It took 72 years from the 1848 first women’s rights convention in Seneca Falls, New York, to the ratification of the 19th Amendment in 1920. The "Still and Still and Still We Rise" triptych explores political activism for gender equality from suffrage to the present. Acrylics on canvas panels, masonite, imitation gold leaf, suffragist sash, buttons/pins. Each protester-with-sign is 28”w x 44”h. The silhouettes were made by my brother, Larry Matelski. Individual photos follow.

Suffrage

Suffrage

The word suffrage comes from the Latin word suffragium, meaning the right to vote. Women in the United States have fought for suffrage from the 1820s. Before the Civil War, women were allowed limited voting rights in only a few states. The first Women’s Convention was held in 1848 in Seneca Falls, NY. The 19th Amendment, ratified in 1920, granted women the right to vote. Wisconsin was the first state to ratify on June 10, 1919. https://www.nps.gov/subjects/womenshistory/19th-amendment.htm

ERA - introduced in 1923

ERA - introduced in 1923

Alice Paul introduced the Equal Rights Amendment in 1923, which reads, “Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States on the basis of sex.” Congress passed the ERA in 1972, but the amendment was not ratified by enough states by the original deadline. By 2020 enough states have ratified the ERA. It needs to be a part of the U.S. Constitution! https://www.brennancenter.org/our-work/research-reports/equal-rights-amendment-explained

Dobbs Decision 2022

Dobbs Decision 2022

The Supreme Court decided Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization in 2022. The Dobb's decision overturned both Roe v. Wade (1973) and Planned Parenthood v. Casey (1992), allowing states to regulate abortion without federal protection. Since the Dobb's decision some states have restricted abortion rights further. Some communities are left without maternal care as providers have moved away because of legalities.

#MeToo

#MeToo

#MeToo is a global movement that draws attention to sexual abuse, sexual harassment, and sexual bullying. The movement was founded by Tarana Burke in 2006. Time's Up Legal Defense Fund, which provides legal representation to survivors, grew out of the Me Too movement. According to a 2018 study conducted by the University of California and the non-profit Stop Street Harassment, 81% of women and 43% of men reported experiencing sexual harassment or assault. 20" x 16" acrylics on panel

Honor the Beautymakers

Honor the Beautymakers

Since ancient times the "beauty makers" have made women feel good. They use skills and products to enhance "beauty." This diptych is an Homage to BeautyMakers. Let's recognize these talented people, essential for our well-being. Light a candle and join me in honoring them. Inspired by a historical photograph from the collection of the Neville Public Museum of Brown County. Each is 24"w x 30"h. Acrylics on canvas. Custom "Larry-designed" wood frames with electronic votive candles, and combs.

Dreaming of the WASP

Dreaming of the WASP

Dreaming of piloting a plane. Inspired by the WASP of WWII, the 1,100 courageous women pilots who served in the Army Air Corp. At the end of WWII, the WASP were disbanded and these remarkable women hung up their parachutes and went home. In 1977, the WASPs were finally granted the veteran status they had been promised. In 2010, they were given the Congressional Gold Medal. Inspirational women! "WASP"= Women Airforce Service Pilots. Acrylics on dyed canvas. 30"h x 24"w

Women in Men's Jobs - 1942

Women in Men's Jobs - 1942

During WWII women did essential jobs to keep factories running. When the war was over, the women went home and the men got the jobs (with higher pay). This machinist sports an ERA button. The Equal Rights Amendment was introduced in 1923. I hope it becomes part of the US Constitution in my lifetime. Inspired by a historical photograph from the collection of the Neville Public Museum of Brown County. Acrylics on dyed canvas; framed with a coordinating metal frame. 30"h x 28"w

Switchboard

Switchboard

"Switchboard" is from a 1960 photo. At that time, switchboard operators manually connected calls by electric wires. Today, mobile phones make and receive calls by radio frequency. Since 1983, virtually 100% of the global population are reached by mobile phones. My, how communications have changed! Inspired by a historical photo from the collection of the Neville Public Museum of Brown County. Acrylics on a dyed canvas; framed with a metal frame. 24"h x 30"w.

Invited (Self-Portrait)

Invited (Self-Portrait)

20"w x 28"h. Acrylics on dyed canvas. NFS It is very hard to have a disability - even today after the Americans with Disability Act (1990). I can only imagine how hard it is in countries without laws and accomodations.

Homage

Homage

Let's recognize, appreciate and honor essential workers. Not only are healthcare workers, grocery workers, and teachers, important during an epidemic, but they make our communities function everyday. We light a candle in their honor. Homage. The Homage series continued with the Farmer and the Bus Driver. Acrylics on canvas, gilded wood, electronic votive candles in holders, fake apple, pencils, fake vaccination card, empty vaccination vials, hypodermic needles, cleaner. 34"H x 85"W

Eliza said,“I knew he would be acquitted. I knew it!"

Eliza said,“I knew he would be acquitted. I knew it!"

Eliza said,“I knew he would be acquitted. I knew it!" This painting was a part of the First Ladies project. It is of Eliza McArdle Johnson, wife of Andrew Johnson, #14 President of the USA. Married at 16 to the love of her life, Andrew Johnson, Eliza taught him how to do math. She owned enslaved people, liked her scrapbooks and had tuberculosis. Also, there was that impeachment… 12" x 12". Acrylics and collaged elements on procion-dyed canvas. sold

Top edge of the Eliza painting

Top edge of the Eliza painting

Left edge of the Eliza painting

Left edge of the Eliza painting

My Heroines: the WASP of WWII

My Heroines: the WASP of WWII

Acrylics on dyed canvas. The Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASP) of WWII, the 1,100 women pilots who flew planes in the Army Air Corp, inspired “My Heroines.” The WASP program was a huge success. At the end of WWII, the WASP were disbanded, and these remarkable women hung up their parachutes and went home. In 1977, the WASP were finally granted the veteran status they had been promised. In 2010, the WASPs were given the Congressional Gold Medal. Inspirational women! 18"H x 20"W. sold

bottom of page