Although the issues with women authors we have been discussing recently are very real, the situation with artists is much more severe. We hardly ever see a woman on the Best Professional Artist ballot for the Hugos. I was very pleased to see Kinuko Y. Craft, Julie Dillon and Irene Gallo on the Chesley ballot, but I think they are the only women on the whole thing (excluding Lifetime Achievement, of which much more later).
I was reminded of this today because Jeff VanderMeer did a post about Leonora Carrington who was a surrealist artist and also a writer (she was a friend of Angela Carter). She died last week. I’d never heard of her. I should do better.
But my real failure came to light with another death a few weeks ago. Jeffrey Catherine Jones was one of the leading lights of fantasy art. Frank Frazetta apparently called her “the greatest living painter”. She was also, as you may have guessed from the name, a trans woman.
There’s a very nice obituary for her in the June Locus, from which I learned that she has four Hugo nominations, and two World Fantasy nominations, one of which turned into a win. These all occurred before she came out as trans and added the Catherine to her name, but I’m very happy to acknowledge her as being there before me. (Other people may have been too, of course, but I only talk publicly about people who I am certain are publicly out.) More recently, she won a Spectrum Award and was named a Spectrum Grand Master. I see she’s up for the ASFA Lifetime Achievement Award, and I very much hope that she wins.
But I do wish I had known more about her earlier so that I could cheer her on, and I would have loved to meet her. Mea Culpa.