Midmarch Arts Press publisher Cynthia Navaretta recently passed away at 97 in New York after a remarkable career of cultural imprint during which she published numerous books championing the creative perspectives of artists and “Women Artists News,” a galvanizing magazine that provided a forum for women artists. She also made a huge impact as a founding member of “Artists Talk on Art,” the longest running in-person art panel discussion series in New York.
I met Navaretta at a College Art Association (CAA) Conference held at the midtown Hilton during a blanketing February blizzard. I had walked over in deep snow to help her at the Midmarch Arts Press book booth. The CAA focus was Feminism and its many waves. The umbrella of Midmarch made it possible for me, as an independent artist, to attend CAA that year. Afterward I kept in touch with Cynthia. Reflecting on Navaretta as a catalyst, I appreciate her genuine interest in artists themselves and her many contributions to the arts. I deeply believe in the crucial importance of critical thinking and curatorial practice setting contemporary artwork into historical context.