Atlanta painter Rocio Rodríguez is the recipient of an unrestricted grant of $25,000 from a program known as Anonymous Was A Woman.
The grant was established to enable women artists, over 40 years of age and at a significant juncture in their lives or careers, to continue to grow and pursue their work.
The unusual name of the grant program, Anonymous Was A Woman, refers to a line in Virginia Woolf’s A Room of One’s Own: “I would venture to guess that Anon, who wrote so many poems without signing them, was often a woman.” (The quote has often been simplified or misquoted as “Anonymous was a woman.”)
As the name implies, nominators and those associated with the program are unnamed. The award was begun in 1996 in response to the decision of the National Endowment of the Arts to cease support of individual artists. Each year, a group of distinguished women — art historians, curators, writers and previous winners from across the country — serve as nominators. To date, over 600 have participated.
Rocío Rodríguez (American, b. 1952) originally came to the United States from Cuba in 1961. She attended the University of Georgia, where she received her BFA and MFA degrees in drawing and painting. She has lived and worked in Atlanta since 1985, and her first major exhibition was at the High Museum of Art in Atlanta in 1988. A popular event and gallery space at the Goat Farm Arts Center known simply as “the Rodríguez Room” was once her studio.
Rodríguez’s work encompasses drawings and paintings, and in the past decade, she has incorporated large wall drawings into her oeuvre. She has exhibited widely in over 30 solo exhibitions and in numerous curated group exhibitions in the United States. Her work is in various permanent collections, among them the Huntsville Museum of Art, the New Orleans Museum of Art and the Telfair Museum of Art, in addition to numerous private collections. Rodríguez has been the recipient of a number of awards and grants, among them a Cintas Foundation Fellowship, a Southern Regional Fellowship at the American Academy in Rome, an Artadia Award and a residency at Marfa Contemporary, Marfa, TX. Her work has also been featured in two books, Out of the Rubble and No-PLACENESS: Art in a Post-Urban Landscape. In 2019, Rodríguez will have a 30-year retrospective of drawings at the Museum of Contemporary Art of Georgia in Atlanta.