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Houston Breakthrough, February 1979
Page 25
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Houston Breakthrough, February 1979 - Page 25. February 1979. Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries. University of Houston Digital Library. Web. December 7, 2019. https://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/feminist/item/6029/show/6021.

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

(February 1979). Houston Breakthrough, February 1979 - Page 25. Houston and Texas Feminist and Lesbian Newsletters. Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries. Retrieved from https://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/feminist/item/6029/show/6021

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

Houston Breakthrough, February 1979 - Page 25, February 1979, Houston and Texas Feminist and Lesbian Newsletters, Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries, accessed December 7, 2019, https://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/feminist/item/6029/show/6021.

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

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Title Houston Breakthrough, February 1979
Publisher Breakthrough Publishing Co.
Date February 1979
Subject.Topical (LCSH)
  • Women
  • Periodicals
  • Feminism--United States--Periodicals
  • Newsletters
Subject.Geographic (TGN)
  • Houston, Texas
Genre (AAT)
  • periodicals
Language English
Type (DCMI)
  • Text
  • Image
Original Item Location HQ1101 .B74
Original Item URL http://library.uh.edu/record=b2332724~S11
Digital Collection Houston and Texas Feminist and Lesbian Newsletters
Digital Collection URL http://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/feminist
Repository Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries
Repository URL http://info.lib.uh.edu/about/campus-libraries-collections/special-collections
Use and Reproduction Educational use only, no other permissions given. Copyright to this resource is held by the content creator, author, artist or other entity, and is provided here for educational purposes only. It may not be reproduced or distributed in any format without written permission of the copyright owner. For more information please see UH Digital Library Fair Use policy on the UH Digital Library About page.
File Name index.cpd
Item Description
Title Page 25
Format (IMT)
  • image/jpeg
File Name femin_201109_547ax.jpg
Transcript had just moved to Houston. Her baby is two years old, and now she is returning to painting seriously. Where can she go with her work? Before the call is over, Trudy has arranged for the woman to come over and bring some of her paintings. "If I like her work, I'll see what 1 can do to get her some exposure. If not, well, maybe there'll be some strengths to talk about." The work of putting creative people in touch with one another is not a recent addition to Trudy's life. "Six or seven years ago, I was introduced to the public relations person at the Houston Grand Opera and we became friends. At the time, covers for HGO's programs were being done mostly by ad agencies and very often had no connection with the programs themselves. Well, I love opera and here was a great opportunity for a Houston artist: to design a program cover that would relate to the opera, and in the process, reach an audience that would number in the thousands, an audience of people who were already art buyers," Sween says. Now Performing Arts magazine, the pooled playbill of the opera, ballet, Society for the Performing Arts, Alley Theatre, and Theatre under the Stars, uses work by Trudy Sween and other Houston artists exclusively for program covers. Who is this woman who busies herself bringing art to audiences and artists to each other? At her graduation in 1967 with a B.F.A. from the University of Houston ("the only game in town at the time"), she was having her work shown in a major juried exhibit at the Contemporary Arts Museum (CAM). Most of the people ("mostly men") she'd been working with for ten years at CAM had grown used to thinking of her as the "kind of artistic committeewoman." I went back to school because I wanted to be taken seriously as an artist, and that wasn't going to be possible, particularly for a woman, without the educational background," Sween explains. Pittsburgh-born Sween's "education" prior to her UH degree included modeling in New York and a stint in the theater ("the casting couch does exist"). She left New York to visit friends in Dallas- and stayed to get married. Sween is her ex- husband's name. "After I got married, I lived in Dallas five years and then moved to Houston 20 years ago. I had to search for what culture there was here," Sween says. "I felt like one of the Outcasts of Poker Flat. So what I got busy doing was trying to augment the scene there, you know, but helping any way I could. I joined a lot of committees." Although she painted, it was "an adjunct, not a major serious moment every moment. You just sort of do these little things and that's what you're good at doing. I really never felt that they had great value at the time," Sween says. "Then I began to think that these things I was good at might be valuable, to me personally, at any rate, and that I was missing a career. That's what I felt. I think everyone gets to-a crisis area time, when they feel that it's time to really make a commitment to something other than marriage and motherhood. I'd tried those, and they didn't fulfill me," Sween adds. "I'd been brought up to think that's what you look forward to as a woman. Now if you're brought up to think that's your role in life, that's what you think is going to fulfill you.I bought that dream," Sween explains. More dreams have come true in recent years. Paintings by Trudy Sween are in the permanent collections of Shell, Mitchell Energy, Exxon, Esso and Exchange Bank. She's listed in Who's Who in American Art, as well as in Who's Who of American Women. She's an active member of Artists' Equity, and since 1969, her work has been shown in galleries from Barcelona to Brussels, from Tyler to La Paz. She can entertain a listener for hours with tales of wonder at the celebrations of her work in Bolivia. The Bolivia pieces were collages. She had begun experimenting with adding small poems to her collages, and these appealed to her South American clients. "I'd been scribbling out these little poems for years, but never before had used them in my visual art, because I'd never been certain they said things to other people, Sween says. Then she offered one along with her cover art for the program for the ordination ceremony of Houston's first woman Episcopal priest, Helen Havens. Encouraged by being understood after all, the artist and the poet got together in collage. The translations of the poems that hung beside her framed works at the National Museum in La Paz were successful enough, apparently, to make the Bolivians want to take them home-which many managed to do, despite the guards at the 18th century palace. Sween's whole experience in Bolivia- diplomatic receptions, television specials, local recognition of all sorts- showed this hardworking partisan of the rights of the "local" artist just what celebrity can mean outside of one's hometown. The works shown in the Bolivian exhibit will be included in a book, Innerspaces, her first publishing effort, which is now in preparation. The phone rings. The woman at the other end was walking through the lobby of Exchange Bank and was moved by the Trudy Sween tryptich on the wall. Could she come over to see some others? She has this big blank wall she's been trying to fill . . . "See? She's from New York. They're used to the art scene, they know that artists are people too, that they paint for a living, that they'd probably appreciate it if you came to see their work. Even if you don't buy anything the artist will be happy if you'd just mention her/his work to somebody else. That's how it's done. If artists are not in a gallery—or even if they are-their work is generally in a back room, and has to be asked for specifically." Sween explains. "We can't just sit here in Houston and watch the buildings get higher. We've got to be sure the cultural life of the city grows as well as the rest of it." February, 1979 25 Houston Breakthrough