Friday, November 6, 2009

A Room of Her Own

I am honored to be a featured artist on the site A Room of Her Own, a Foundation for women writers and artists. My art " Storm over Plowed Fields" below is on the site. Scroll down about 2/3 of the page.

In July 2000, shortly after her mother’s death,
Darlene Chandler Bassett arrived at Georgia O’Keeffe’s Ghost Ranch in Abiquiu, New Mexico for a women’s retreat, a box of Kleenex and a copy of Virginia Woolf’s A Room of One’s Own in her backpack. She retired from her career of twenty years as a corporate executive for entrepreneur Eli Broad five years prior, and had been seeking new passion and direction ever since.

Also arriving at Ghost Ranch was Mary Johnson, a woman who had recently left quite a different career, having served the same twenty years as a nun in the order founded by Mother Teresa of Calcutta. The parish church where she worked sent her to the retreat for a week of continuing education. The first evening Mary announced, “This retreat was my fifth choice. It’s very difficult for me to trust older women, and I’m not sure why I’m here.” Ghost Ranch’s oddest couple had just met. During an evening session focused on midlife possibilities Mary told of her desire to write her story, asking the universe for “a room of my own and the opportunity to write.” At that moment Darlene found her passion, Mary found a benefactor, and A Room of Her Own Foundation found its beginning in the realization of Virginia Woolf’s words, “a woman must have money and a room of her own if she is to write.” Recognizing a new calling, Darlene offered to fund Mary’s pursuit of a fine arts degree if Mary would help her create a template for an organization that would offer other women the privacy, finances, and creative support to pursue their work. Just like that, A Room of Her Own Foundation was born. “I decided I would finance Mary’s art, and if I could do it for her, we could do it for other women,” Chandler Bassett said. Together they developed a model for a foundation which would give creative women the money and space they needed to pursue their creative vision.

Poetry and art aren’t luxuries, they are integral to any culture’s evolution.
A Room of Her Own Foundation (AROHO)
501(c)(3) nonprofit organization providing a unique arts program that will impact the development of our culture. Our passion is for helping women writers and artists go the full journey from inspiration, through creative production, and on to the marketplace. AROHO is dedicated to furthering the vision of Virginia Woolf and bridging the gap between a woman’s economic reality and her artistic creation. We bridge this gap by offering generous financial support to women of diverse artistic expression—the written arts (fiction, creative nonfiction, poetry, and playwriting), as well as the visual arts (painting, sculpture, and photography). We further Woolf’s vision by providing moral support and professional guidance to independent creative women who are committed to their art. Through the $50,000 biennial Gift of Freedom award, unique Writers' Retreat experiences, and the AROHO Book Club and blog, A Room of Her Own Foundation empowers women and educates the community about the important work of female artists and writers.


Mary-Laure said...

This is so great!
Woolf's A Room Of One's Own is one of the most enlightening essays I ever read, so powerful.

Greet Lefèvre said...


Debra said...

How wonderful for you Karen. This is a great organization. Thank you for sharing your happiness with us. I hope you have a nice weekend.

vicki archer said...

What a wonderful and inspiring story Karen, such a chance encounter and what an amazing outcome....xv

annechovie said...

Congratulations, Karen! That is wonderful - you deserve it! xx

Maria Killam said...

How exciting, you are into everything cool and artsy!

pve design said...

Artists and women need tons of support, so thrilled for you to be part of this vision. Wishing you all the best.

Karena said...

Thanks to all of you for the encouragement! It means so much!

Trouvais said...

Congratulations Karena! Very inspiring...I'm getting lost in your blog when I should be painting! Merci. Trish

Unknown said...

How wonderful!
thanks so much for commenting on my blog today- i'm delighted to meet you!

Laura Casey Interiors said...

That is wonderful. What a great organization.

Lisa Porter said...

Do you ever wonder why you cross paths with certain people at certain times in your life? I do, and it's always a rewarding experience when this happens to me.
This post and the incredible story within has so many parts here and there that have meant something to me over the years. Artists, Retreats, O'Keefe, Mother Theresa, New Mexico, Calcutta, La Jolla, to name a few.
I am so glad that I found you & look forward to learning about all that you give through your art & your inspiration.
Thank you for paying me a visit at TLPC.

Maria Killam said...

You are tagged!!

Unknown said...

What an honor! I love Virginia Woolf, her books and the philosophy of her thinking as a writer!
One of my literary heros!

Your art fits in so well!
I will be back!

soodie :: said...

The bestest wishes to you Karen! So glad you made many of us aware of this organization.

Karena said...

Much thanks to all for your wonderful comments. I love to stay open to the possibilities life may bring us!

La Belette Rouge said...

So cool! Congratulations!!! It is extraordinary the impact that Virginia Wolf left on the world for women. And, it is so exciting to learn of this organization that works to create a larger room for women artists.

Thank you, Karena, for coming by my blog and for your lovely comment. It is wonderful to discover your blog and your incredible landscapes.

Pamela Terry and Edward said...

So happy for you! Well done!

Splendid Willow said...

Karena, what a treat to have found your blog and to learn more about you (10 things + A Room of her own. Congratulations BTW!). I meant to stop by last week, but we were all under the weather.

I am also passionate about the arts in all forms. (I can't draw to save my life, but I have a pretty good eye and ear!).

Your landscapes are amazing. (And I like how you mix the media). You are very talented and I look forward to follow you and your great passion.

Happy weekend! Monika.

Karena said...

I have the best friends in the whole world! Thank you for checking in with me on my art site!

Karena said...


the paris apartment said...

Conngratulations, that's incredible!

gésbi said...

What a wonderful thing to exist. Congratulations to you!

Maria Killam said...

Happy Thanksgiving to you Karena!! Thanks for your sweet comments!

Maria Killam said...

Thanks for your comment Karena!! xo Maria

katiedid said...

Congrats!!!! And Amen to art being integral to one's life.

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