Heavy Metal – Women to Watch 2018 Exhibition

The 2018 National Women to Watch theme explored the medium of metal: from the ornamental to the functional, regardless of outmoded distinctions or traditional definitions of what constitutes fine art or design and craft. The national show (June 28 – September 16, 2018) exhibited a broad range of women artists’ expressions in metal to demonstrate that contemporary artists carry on a vibrant legacy in the medium: sculpture, objects of adornment, conceptual applications, home furnishings, and vessels. Two sculptures by Holly Laws were chosen for inclusion in the 2018 Women to Watch at the National Museum of Women in the Arts in Washington, D.C.


“Three Eastern Blue Birds” by Holly Laws (c)

ACNMWA members Mary Lynn Reese, Jaquita Ball, Barbara Satterfield, and Tammy Harrington, exhibiting artist Holly Laws


Work by Holly Laws was chosen for inclusion in the 2018 Women to Watch Exhibition at
the National Museum of Women in the Arts in Washington, D.C.


The Arkansas Women to Watch Exhibition 2019: Heavy Metal featured work by artists Michele Cottler Fox, Amanda Heinbockel, Robyn Horn, and Holly Laws. The tour premiered in the Windgate Art and Design Gallery at the University of Arkansas at the Fort Smith and featured an artists’ reception on Friday, January 18. The exhibit of 23 artworks traveled to eight venues and illustrated the full gamut of the Heavy Metal exhibit theme: crocheted and cold cast jewelry, small brass reliquaries and salt cellars, mixed iron and wood sculptures and mixed-media installations featuring copper, brass, and repurposed ironing boards.


Michele Fox (Little Rock) uses fiber techniques to make metal and mixed-media jewelry into edgy functional forms that incorporate unusual found objects. Fox started using fiber techniques to make jewelry because the tactile sense of how jewelry feels is as important to her as how it looks. After having learned basic metalsmithing techniques, Fox has been mostly self-taught: she couldn’t find books about how to create the pieces she was imagining. The organizing element among the pieces is her exploration of line. Fox is a Clinical Pathology professor in the College of Medicine at UAMS in Little Rock.


She Always Ate What She Killed necklace by
Michele Cottler-Fox (c)


Amanda Heinbockel (Little Rock) creates bronze, silver and gold jewelry and small finely-made metal constructions. The process of working with metal is primary for Heinbockel–from designing a piece to the satisfaction of sawing, filing, and watching solder flow. She began working with metal out of a passion for jewelry-making. After first wielding a jeweler’s saw, Heinbockel has created functional objects and wearable designs based on her fascination with plants and memories from her childhood home. Heinbockel teaches art at Little Rock’s Central High School.

Windows Salt Cellar by Amanda Heinbockel (c)


Robyn Horn (Roland), a nationally-known sculptor, carves wood and forges metal pieces into forms that range from her take on the natural world to her interest in re-purposed architectural elements. Horn hasused steel in two different ways, employing it as a material of strength in her Steel Series and using it as an accent in her Industrial Series to augment her wood sculptures. She sees the conceptual aspect of steel and cast
1109 Layers of Steel by Robyn Horn (c)                   iron in her work as a way of questioning process

or function. Horn is a professional artist and advocate for the arts.


Holly Laws (Mayflower) is a mixed-media artist and sculptor who incorporates re-purposed metal objects or metal materials into her installations. Sculptures in this exhibit were created as part of a larger body of work titled Bellwether, which began in the fall of 2016 as the artist’s response to sadness over the divisive state of affairs in the American political landscape. Her objective was to explore the disconnect between the citizens of this nation: the miscommunication, the polarization, and the hate. The resurgence of overt misogyny and the backlash against feminism were of particular interest to her.





Bald Eagle Feathers by Holly Laws (c)