Smithsonian American Art Museum publishes 10 comics online featuring pioneering female artists – 71Bait

The Smithsonian American Art Museum has released a second set of 10 short comics online, each celebrating a female artist with artworks represented in the museum’s permanent collection. The groundbreaking artists featured in the 2022 set Drawn to Art: Ten Tales of Inspiring Women Artists are Judy Baca, Tiffany Chung, Sonya Clark, Sarah Goodridge, Ester Hernandez, Loïs Mailou Jones, Nellie Mae Rowe, Augusta Savage , Jaune Quick-To-See Smith (Confederated Salish and Kootenai Nation) and Kay WalkingStick (Cherokee Nation).

Inspired by graphic novels and webcomics, these brief glimpses into the lives of artists were drawn by 10 Ringling College of Art and Design student-illustrators. The participating illustrators are Stephanie Bravo, Rebe Chen, Micah Eubanks, Elisia Fernandez, Aleyah Lyon, Susie O’Connor, Abigail Rajunov, Oliver Stephenson, Maddy Williams-Solberg and Madi Wong.

The aim of the project is to offer readers from middle school and those interested in art of all ages a beautifully illustrated and age-appropriate opportunity to identify with the struggles and successes of artists, to see themselves reflected and to draw strength from this. Drawn to Art supports the museum’s commitment to educational opportunities by providing valuable work experience for Ringling artist students who learn to collaborate, meet deadlines, and meet formatting and accessibility requirements.

“I am delighted to see this second set of SAAM’s Drawn to Art comics come to life,” said Stephanie Stebich, Margaret and Terry Stent director of the Smithsonian American Art Museum. “This innovative project offers young people, or anyone interested in artists and their stories, another opportunity to explore the museum’s rich collection and discover the power of art.”

The digital-first series debuted in 2021. It featured the stories of Berenice Abbott, Anni Albers, Romaine Brooks, Maria Oakey Dewing, Carmen Herrera, Corita Kent, Edmonia Lewis, Kay Sekimachi, Alma Thomas and Mickalene Thomas. All 20 comics can be seen on the museum’s website.

Drawn to Art is a collaboration with Ringling College’s INDEX (Industry Experience) program. INDEX is an experiential education initiative that provides pre-graduation students with work experience by connecting them with leading brands and clients to develop creative solutions to business challenges. The 10 winners were selected from 39 illustration students who participated in the INDEX competition.

“The partnership between Ringling College and the Smithsonian American Art Museum exemplifies why we founded INDEX – to integrate experiential learning into academic and student life as one of the three pillars of academic and future success,” said Jeff Schwartz, Associate Vice President, Academic Affairs and Dean of Studies, Ringling College of Art and Design. “The VSV staff provided an experience that goes far beyond simple mentorship as they taught our students how to build a compelling story around each of these historically significant artists. The opportunity to partner with the Smithsonian American Art Museum to delve into the lives of underrepresented fellow artists and bring their stories to life is a portfolio and career-building experience at the highest level.”

About the Smithsonian American Art Museum

The Smithsonian American Art Museum houses one of the most important and extensive collections of American art in the world. The museum’s main building on Eighth and G Streets NW is open daily from 11:30 am to 7:00 pm. The museum’s Renwick Gallery, a contemporary crafts and decorative arts branch, is located on Pennsylvania Avenue at 17th Street NW and is open daily from 10:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Find out online about the current opening hours and information on admission. Admission is free. Follow the museum on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube. Museum Information (on file): (202) 633-7970. Website:

About Ringling College of Art and Design

Since 1931, Ringling College of Art and Design has nurtured the creative spirit of students from around the world. The private, not-for-profit, fully accredited college offers Bachelor of Fine Arts degrees in 11 disciplines and Bachelor of Arts degrees in two. The college’s rigorous curriculum uses the studio model of instruction and immediately engages students through a comprehensive program that is both major-specific and liberal arts-focused. Ringling College’s teaching model ultimately molds students into highly employable and globally conscious artists and designers. For more information visit and follow the college on Facebook, Instagram, TwitterLinkedIn and YouTube.

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