About SOLA

SOLA stands for Support of Old Lady Artists and was founded in 2016 to honor accomplished, yet under-recognized, mature women visual artists. The current SOLA Award includes a $5,000 unrestricted grant, a brief bio video, professional support and networking for four women artists in Washington. One award is specifically designated to highlight the career of a black, indigenous, or artist of color. Each SOLA Award is valued at $12,000 per artist.

By the end of 2023, SOLA will have awarded $77,000 in unrestricted monetary grants to 21 women across Washington.

About SOLA

2023 SOLA Awardee Video Spotlight Premiere Watch Party Replay

Replay of the celebration at Seattle's J. Rinehart Gallery for the premiere of NINE new SOLA Awardee Spotlight Videos.

SOLA Leadership

SOLA founder and artist, Ginny Ruffner, established a small, but mighty team of experienced women professionals in the arts to explore and shape SOLA’s growth alongside her.

Nichole DeMent

Nichole DeMent

Executive Director

Marge Levy

Development Director; Vice President, Board of Directors

Ginny Ruffner

Artist, Founder & Board President

SOLA Board of Directors

  • Ginny Ruffner – Founder, Artist, Board President
  • Marge Levy - Board Vice President

  • Greg Robinson – Board Secretary

  • Earl Sedlik - Board Treasurer

  • Shari Behnke
  • Tim Detweiler
  • Fidelma McGinn

  • Judith Rinehart

  • Chase Rynd

  • Kim Shirley
  • Stephanie Stebich

SOLA Equity Statement

Artist and SOLA Founder, Ginny Ruffner, wanted to find a way to encourage and celebrate accomplished women artists whose work had not been sufficiently or widely recognized. She was also extremely familiar with the inequities in the art world and, having written and spoken about gender disparities for years, Support of Old Lady Artists (SOLA) was founded in 2016. 

Despite over 50 years of a bold feminist art movement addressing the inequities and bias in society, women continue to be underfunded, underseen, undercollected and underrecognized. Additionally, as per the World Health Organization in 2016, “Ageism is the most socially ‘normalized’ of any prejudice and is not widely challenged.” 

SOLA’s mission is “to award cash grants to female visual artists over 60 who are currently living in Washington State and have created a body of work spanning at least 25 years.” We recognize further systemic inequities exist as additional barriers for Black, Indigenous, Latina, Asian, and other women artists of color, as well as LGBTQAI, and those that are differently-abled. SOLA will continue to create equal access to funding and are dedicated to create future programs and resources through an equity lens. We were founded on the very spirit of change and triumph over adversity and will continue our work to dismantle barriers.

Leadership

Awards Made

Since 2017
2017 AWARDEE

$2,000 Granted

2018 AWARDEES

$10,000 Granted in Total

2019 AWARDEES

$19,000 Granted in Total

2020 AWARDEES

$28,000 Granted in Total

2021 AWARDEES

$37,000 Granted in Total

2022 AWARDEES

$57,000 Granted in Total

2023 AWARDEES

$77,000 Granted in Total

$77,000 granted in June 2023

Awards Made

SOLA

© SOLA. All rights reserved.
Support of Old Lady Artists (SOLA) is recognized as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization by the IRS and registered with Washington State’s Charities Program. All donations are tax deductible by law. Tax ID Number: 81-4429124

SOLA mailing address: PO BOX 17554, Seattle, WA 98127

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