Woodlands Academy celebrates Women in the Arts in March

Works by artists Liz Born and Anita Powell were displayed at Woodlands Academy of the Sacred Heart as part of the 2024 Jamie Tuttle Women in the Arts festival, featuring in-person presentations by each artist.

Born is a Chicago-based printmaker and ceramicist whose work has been displayed at venues including The Chicago Cultural Center and Jane Addams Hull-House Museum. In 2012, she founded Hoofprint, a printshop and publisher of fine art editions, with print partner Gabe Hoare. Collaborative works made at Hoofprint can be found in the Smithsonian and Metropolitan Museum of Art collections.

Born’s March 8 presentations at Woodlands Academy, an all-girls college-prep high school in Lake Forest, included viewing prints and ceramic objects followed by some discussion. Born also engaged attendees in a concise printmaking exercise using cut paper to create bold silhouettes. Participants were encouraged to think about positive and negative space as well as symmetrical vs. asymmetrical design in the process.

Powell is a ceramic sculptor and art teacher who lives in southern Indiana and enjoys teaching art to students in grades K-8. After her first teaching position, at a Florida high school, Powell went on to earn a Master of Fine Arts degree in ceramics at Southern Illinois University/Carbondale. Her first college-level teaching position was at Gustavus Adolphus College in Minnesota, where one of her first students was Woodlands Academy art teacher Deborah MacAyeal.

Powell’s March 18 visit to Woodlands Academy included presentations during two of MacAyeal’s art classes featuring a slide show of her work and a clay-building demonstration. Powell made a small model similar to her larger works and explained the slab technique that she uses to construct her large pieces. She also showed how she supports a piece during its creation and drying stages. In addition, Powell described the process she uses to paint her pieces.

Besides the knowledge about techniques and processes they gained, participating Woodlands Academy students enjoyed meeting these two professional female artists and learning about their lives, art and ideas.

The Women in the Arts event has been a Woodlands Academy tradition since 2005, when parents of two alumnae offered to sponsor exhibits by two visiting female artists. In addition to the exhibits of their work, each visiting artist made a presentation to students taking studio art and photography. Because this initial event was so well received by the visiting artists and Woodlands students alike, the donors offered to make Women in the Arts an annual event.

In 2021, this annual celebration of female artists was named in memory of Jamie Tuttle, a vital member of the school’s arts faculty for three decades who inspired generations of Woodlands students with her dedication to the arts. She also taught photography at the Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design for several years. Tuttle passed away Sept. 15, 2020, following a heroic battle with cancer.

In 2022, a prominent display of student artwork in Woodlands Academy’s front hallways was named in honor of Tuttle, who envisioned and then nurtured it with her love of showcasing students’ creations.

The gallery includes a memorial display featuring a portrait of Tuttle and two of her photographs chosen by her family. “Hand & Peaches” is a 2008 work selected by the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City, Missouri, for its permanent collection. “Self Portrait in the Garden” is a 1990 photograph chosen by the Bibliotheque Nationale in Paris, France, for its permanent collection.

In addition to being part of such collections, Tuttle’s photography has been shown at exhibitions including Filter Photo Gallery in Chicago, Dolphin Gallery in Kansas City and the Liverpool International Photography Festival in England. She says in her Artist Statement that after receiving her master’s degree in fine arts from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, she began teaching “with the hope of bringing the same passion and knowledge I received to my students.” The memorials created for her at Woodlands Academy are testimonials to her success in achieving that goal.

“For years, Jamie proudly took care of updating our student art pieces in the front gallery and also worked closely with the original Women in the Arts series to bring in talented women artists to share their crafts with our students,” Associate Head of School Christine Schmidt said.

She and Tuttle began their Woodlands Academy careers in the fall of 1990. “Jamie had a tremendous impact on our students in developing their photography skills and, more importantly, she helped them develop a sense of seeing,” Schmidt said.

Woodlands Academy of the Sacred Heart is a Catholic, independent, day-and-boarding, college-preparatory school for young women of all faiths in grades 9-12. Founded in Chicago in 1858 and located in Lake Forest since 1904, Woodlands is part of a worldwide network of Sacred Heart Schools that spans the United States and 40 other countries on six continents. To learn more, visit

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