In Focus: Artists at Work

A dark gallery space with three large screens playing a video. Three tufted benches are in front of the screens. On the right wall, it says
Oct 21, 2023, to Apr 20, 2025

For the first time ever, NMWA has produced a series of short films spotlighting collection artists. For this project, NMWA worked with the award-winning film production company Smartypants Pictures to create the series, each video profiling one contemporary artist in the museum’s collection. These short vignettes (around three minutes each), highlight the practice of each artist and reveal how initiatives for equity, those pursued by the artists themselves as well as institutional programs like NMWA’s, shape their careers and daily lives.

The eight artists profiled in the series are: Ambreen Butt, Sonya Clark, Colette Fu, Guerrilla Girls, Graciela Iturbide, Delita Martin, Rania Matar, and Alison Saar. Presented in two phases, with four artists highlighted in each phase, this series spotlights groundbreaking women artists at work today.

To ensure an immersive in-gallery experience, NMWA worked with the experiential design firm Art Processors to create an intimate viewing experience for the films. Graphic wall panels include QR codes to access online resources as well as locations to the artists’ artwork in the museum’s collection galleries. With this series, NMWA continues its commitment to artists working today and sharing their stories with visitors both in person and online.

Two women are standing and sitting in a dark room in front of three large screens. A film is playing, showing a person in a gorilla costume holding up a banner. The banner says:

In Focus: Artists at Work at the National Museum of Women in the Arts; Photo by Joy Asico-Smith

Exhibition Sponsors

In Focus: Artists at Work is produced by the National Museum of Women in the Arts in collaboration with Smartypants Pictures and Art Processors.

The video series is generously supported by the members of NMWA. Project design is made possible through the generous support of Denise Littlefield Sobel, with additional funding provided by Jamie Gorelick and Richard Waldhorn.

Display screens contributed by Sony Corporation of America.

May 21, 2024

Open today from 10 am to 5 pm

Exhibition Hours

Tuesday to Sunday

10 am to 5 pm

Holiday Closures: NMWA is closed on Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Day.

Hours are subject to change.
Check the Plan Your Visit page for updates.

Exhibition Location

Long Gallery, Ground Floor

In Focus: Artists at Work Trailer

Featured Artists

Ambreen Butt

A woman with medium skin tone wearing a multicolored head scarf, beige cardigan, maroon top, and black pants stands in a gallery speaking in front of group of people sitting and listening. The speaker is the artist gesturing while speaking in front of five intricate, detailed prints.
The magic of Ambreen Butt’s work is in the details. Learn more about the artist's process, watch her "In Focus" artist film, and explore her artwork on view.

Sonya Clark

Sonya Clark calmly sits on a polka-dot couch against a white wall, next to a large plant. She is a medium-skinned adult woman with dark hair pulled back, looking to her right with her legs crossed. She wears a striped top, black pants with large white dots, glasses, and a necklace.
Sonya Clark transforms simple materials into powerful revelations and stirring tributes to her ancestors. Learn more about the artist's process, watch her "In Focus" artist film, and explore her artwork on view.

Colette Fu

A woman with medium skin tone and dark hair wearing a black dress holds a large pop-up artist book, which unfolds in her hand and onto a table.
Colette Fu’s photographs find vibrancy and dimension in the form of intricate pop-up books. Learn more about the artist's process, watch her "In Focus" artist film, and explore her artwork on view.

Graciela Iturbide

A woman in a fedora and a long black dress poses in front of a large black-and-white photograph of a woman wearing a floral dress and a large headdress who is standing, looking upward.
The element of surprise is central to Graciela Iturbide’s majestic black-and-white photographs. Learn more about the artist's process, watch her "In Focus" artist film, and explore her artwork on view.

Delita Martin

The artist, a woman with dark skin tone, speaks in front of her artwork, gesturing to it, a large colorful print of a woman with a pattern overlay across the paper. The artist wears a bright right sweater, a multicolored scarf, glasses, and gold hoops.
Delita Martin identifies as a printmaker, but her artistic vision defies categorization. Learn more about the artist's process, watch her "In Focus" artist film, and explore her artwork on view.

Rania Matar

A woman with medium skin tone and curly auburn hair and glasses gestures with her hands as she speaks in a gallery between two colorful photographs.
Each of Rania Matar’s striking photographs tells a story. Learn more about the artist's process, watch her "In Focus" artist film, and explore her artwork on view.

Alison Saar

The artist, a woman with light skin, curly gray hair, and glasses, wears a black sleeveless dress and necklace while standing in a gallery in front of two of her large colorful prints.
The bold figures in Alison Saar’s sculptures and prints are rich in textural detail and meaning. Learn more about the artist's process, watch her "In Focus" artist film, and explore her artwork on view.

Guerrilla Girls

Three women dressed in all black with gorilla masks over their heads are leaning against a brick wall with a window. The window is covered in posters with big black letters that read
The Guerrilla Girls combine wordplay, statistics, and graphics to call out discrimination in the arts. Learn more about them, watch their "In Focus" artist film, and explore their artwork on view.

Video Playlist

A woman with medium-light skin tone, gray pigtails, large black glasses, a dark long-sleeve shirt and a navy apron stands proudly looking at the camera in a wood shop artist studio. Both her arms are bent, one at her waist and the other leaning on a chainsaw that rests on a large piece of wood on a table.
Check out all eight "In Focus: Artists at Work" videos on NMWA's YouTube channel plus the trailer.