The Red Dirt Girls:
Women Artists X4
Red Dirt Girls do get their hands dirty. They have grit. Determination. Skills. As a group, they want to celebrate women’s challenges and tragedies in a way that is imbued with hope. They feel women have an important role in shaping the attitudes of those around them, and there is a great need for uplifting and positive messages. Red Dirt Girls have experienced loneliness, divorce, losing homes, friends that were untrue, life’s constant challenges and surprises—but have emerged from these daunting experiences with optimism and humor intact. They have stories to tell, examples of great women to celebrate, and canvases full of color and magic.
Kirsten Holt Beitler is a single mother of four boys. She has a full-time job at Harmon’s Grocery Store painting in-store posters and signs to advertise anything from avocados to the bakery department! She does it with skill and great wit. You can’t help but smile when you see Baby Yoda pitching something in the fresh fruits and vegetable section or a super-hero holding a loaf of bread! When she is not painting signs and taking her boys to ball games, school events, and family get-togethers, she is also a fabulous painter.
Instagram – @kirstenbeitler
Facebook – Kirsten Holt Beitler
Jenna Mae Lineweaver is the mother of four boys. She and her husband are the ‘fixer-upper’ couple who are beautifying and rescuing homes, which they can then turn into a sale. As a mother and business partner, she is a busy woman, but like other passionate artists, she carves out time to retreat to her painting room and create works of art that start their existence with layers of paper, fabric, and other fascinating additions before the magic of her painting begins.
Instagram – @jennalineweaver
Facebook – Jenna Mae Lineweaver
Miriam Christensen Rawson has been a painter and maker-of-things since she was a child, when her artist mother taught her to paint and sew. After she majored in Fine Art at BYU, she began a thirty-five-year career as a fiber artist, one-of-a-kind cloth doll maker, magazine project designer, quilter and author, while mothering her four children. Her skills were further honed by working as a display designer for fourteen years, which introduced her to craft and furniture painting and other magical materials and methods. After the nest was emptied, she knew she could return to painting. Painting has fulfilled a yearning she never lost, to brush messy oil paint color and interesting characters onto a surface and weave them into a story. Painting has always been her first love, and she went back to university for several years to freshen up her painting and drawing skills. She loves painting other women—sometimes a joyous village dancer, a mother fantasizing being a run-away, a woman irrigating a field wearing new boots, women and children in costume, couples in love, women bathing in the dark, in the middle of a woods, and other real and imagined scenes of women’s lives.
Instagram – @miriampaints
Facebook – Miriam Rawson, Artist
Peg Wheeler, a natural-born silly goose, swears she was reborn one day when she took a leap to purchase her now signature bright red glasses. She figures she was either totally changed with their whimsical addition to her grandmother face, or she had just reverted, in joy, to the person she was born to be. She figures she was blessed to adopt four wonderful children, who she always seems to forget are not hers by birth. Oh! And let’s not forget her four beautiful and amazing grandchildren! Peg began her art journey as a graphic artist, but in her heart, she was ever drawn to printmaking, collage, patterns, bookmaking, quilting, painting, and the nostalgic feeling of old photographs. It’s funny how everything we experience in life contributes and enriches the pieces of art we are driven to create. Women in aprons, a child studying a flower, men working on a harvest—moments of lives that tell a story. Peg loves to add other elements to her painting—patterns from nature, printed on cloth, which is then glued on the board as a frame. Or a frame with added texture and then painted that becomes a part of the design, adding further meaning to the story. She sincerely desires, through these processes, to open the mind and heart of the viewer to further participation in the vistas of others’ lives.
Instagram – @wheelspeg
Facebook – Peg Wheeler
These Red Dirt Girls are working toward a collective display in the Sears Gallery, at Dixie State University, St. George, Utah, September through October 2021. The theme will be Pieced Together and will celebrate the role of women as they ‘stitch together’ families, neighborhoods, their own fragmented lives, and nations. For more information, please e-mail Miriam Rawson at firstname.lastname@example.org.