Moore Presents 2011 Visionary Woman Awards

For Immediate Release
October 17, 2012

(Philadelphia, PA) Moore College of Art & Design presented its 2011 Visionary Woman Awards to printmaker and artist Jaune Quick-to-See Smith, restoration artist Jane Walentas and newspaper cartoonist Signe Wilkinson.

Smith, Walentas and Wilkinson accepted the Visionary Woman Award at a gala on Wednesday, October 12, 2011 at the College.

The gala, attended by 240 guests, raised $243,000, with proceeds going to support the Visionary Woman Scholarships.

The Award began in 2003 and has become a signature event at Moore each fall. Since 2005, the College has designated proceeds from the Visionary Woman Awards to benefit four-year merit-based Visionary Woman Scholarships.

Internationally renowned painter, printmaker and artist Jaune Quick-to-See Smith is one of the most acclaimed American Indian artists today. Jane Walentas, a 1966 Moore graduate and former Estee Lauder advertising executive, is credited along with her husband as the developer of the arts-rich DUMBO neighborhood in Brooklyn, NY and the artist behind a restored 1922 Philadelphia Toboggan Company carousel that was installed in Brooklyn Bridge Park in August. Signe Wilkinson, the first woman to be awarded the Pulitzer Prize for political cartooning, has worked for the Philadelphia Daily News for more than 25 years.

The 2011 Visionary Woman Award gala was held at Moore College of Art & Design, located at 20th Street and The Parkway. Proceeds from the gala supported Visionary Woman Award Scholarships. The Elizabeth Greenfield Zeidman Lecture featuring the three honorees was held earlier that day in the Stewart Auditorium.

Moore College of Art & Design educates students for inspiring careers in art and design. Founded in 1848, Moore is the nation's first and only women's art college. Moore's career-focused environment and professionally active faculty form a dynamic community in the heart of Philadelphia's cultural district. The College offers nine Bachelor of Fine Arts degrees for women. A coeducational Graduate Studies program was launched in summer, 2009. In addition, Moore provides many valuable opportunities in the arts through The Galleries at Moore, a Continuing Education Certificate program for adults, the 91-year-old acclaimed Youth Art Program for girls and boys grades 1-12, The Art Shop and the Sculpture Park. For more information about Moore, visit

Brief Bios of Awardees

Jaune Quick-to-See Smith is one of the most acclaimed American Indian artists today. Smith has had over 80 solo exhibits in the past 30 years and has done printmaking projects nationwide.  She has organized and/or curated over 30 Native exhibitions, lectured at more than 185 universities, museums and conferences internationally, most recently at 5 universities in China. Smith has completed several collaborative public art works such as the floor design in the Great Hall of the new Denver Airport and a mile-long sidewalk history trail in West Seattle. Smith has received awards such as the Academy of Arts and Letters Purchase Award, the Joan Mitchell Foundation Painters Grant, the Women’s Caucus for the Arts Lifetime Achievement, the College Art Association Women's Award, and the Governor’s Outstanding New Mexico Woman’s Award in 2005. She is in the collections of the Smithsonian American Art Museum in Washington DC; the Museum of Modern Art and The Whitney Museum in New York City; The Walker in Minneapolis; the Museum of Modern Art in Quito, Ecuador; and the Museum of Mankind in Vienna, Austria.

Jane Walentas and her husband, David, have been responsible for transforming the DUMBO section of Brooklyn into one of the New York’s most desirable neighborhoods. Jane made sure that DUMBO was a haven for artists and designers by offering free or reduced rents for artists and cultural organizations. In 1984, Jane bought a 1920s carousel at auction in Ohio, manufactured by the Philadelphia Toboggan Company. She spent 22 years in her studio using her vision to restore the hand-carved wooden structure to its original splendor. The carousel has been on display in DUMBO since 2006 and was installed in August 2011 in Brooklyn Bridge Park in an acrylic pavilion created by French architect Jean Nouvel. The design allows the landmark merry-go-round to be lit up at night so it can be seen from across the East River. Eventually, children from all over will come to Brooklyn to take a ride. A 1966 graduate of Moore, Jane created the Jane Walentas Endowed Scholarship and International Travel Fellowship, a four-year scholarship that also recognizes the importance of the global perspective in educating contemporary visual artists.

Signe Wilkinson is one of contemporary America’s few women cartoonists. Wilkinson began her career as a journalist, but soon became more interested in cartooning. After attending the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts and freelancing, Wilkinson joined the staff of the San Jose Mercury News and, in 1985, she returned to Philadelphia as the editorial cartoonist for the Philadelphia Daily News. Her work is been featured in many national publications. In 1992, she was the first female cartoonist to win the Pulitzer Prize for editorial cartooning. Other awards include the Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award in 2008 and 2002; the 1991 Berryman Award for “work that exhibits power to influence public opinion, plus good drawing and striking effect”; and the 2006, 2002 and 1997 Overseas Press Club Award. She has served as president of the Association of American Editorial Cartoonists.  Her latest creation is a new daily comic called Family Tree, distributed nationally by United Feature Syndicate.

Published on October 17th, 2011