Event Photos by Michael Woolley

Curatorial Room

Lenka Clayton

For the exhibition Clayton showed work from her Artist-in-Residence-in-Motherhood. Artist residencies are usually designed as a way to allow artists to escape from the routines and responsibilities of their everyday lives. An Artist Residency in Motherhood is different. Set firmly inside the traditionally “inhospitable” environment of a family home, it subverts the art-world’s romanticization of the unattached artist, and frames motherhood as a valuable site for exploration and artistic production. From 2012 - 2015 Clayton served as the world's first Artist-in-Residence-in-Motherhood. This time was spent embracing the fragmented mental focus, exhaustion, nap-length studio time and countless distractions of parenthood as well as the absurd poetry of time spent with young children as her working materials and situation, rather than obstacles to be overcome. For New Maternalisms Redux, Clayton is developing a new project, in collaboration with New Maternalisms, to fund other mother-artists for short residency stints

Jess Dobkin

For the exhibition Dobkin presented her third iteration of her Lactation Station Breast Milk Bar, first performed in 2006 and then reprised in 2012.  Dobkin writes: “Giving birth to my daughter made me question the lack of meaningful social dialogue around this momentous and primary right of passage. I want to bring the personal stories public, to consider these complex human experiences that are difficult to articulate and systemically disregarded and undervalued. Through my own experience and in talking with other women, I became interested in cultural issues and taboos surrounding breast feeding. I want to invite a dialogue about this challenging and most intimate of motherhood rites. I welcome female and male participants to engage in this discussion, with a sense of curiosity and without judgment.”

Alejandra Herrera Silva

For this exhibition Herrera created a new work entitled “Testing the Waters”. The piece addresses details of her relationship with her clan and all of the emotions present in the context of a family of 5 with a spouse who is also an artist. She is Chilean, born during a culturally and socially damaging dictatorship, everyday gauging the intensity of her domestic existence in a setting with a history of fiery conflict.

Courtney Kessel

For the exhibition Kessel will present In Balance With, which involves a seesaw and the collaboration of her daughter and has been performed annually since 2009. This piece involves household items that have been curated to relay the current research and interests of Kessel and her daughter, Chloé, in a kind of portrait for the year.  Each thing is strapped on to the child’s side as Kessel struggles to find and maintain balance.  This piece grows and changes just much as the child.  Kessel will also showcase two other works: one a video triptych exploring the humor and intimacy of motherhood via a shared relationship to the mother’s clothing, and a recent photographic series, Without Chloé, examining the presence of a child via its absence.

Jill Miller

For the exhibition Miller is developing a new work, 24 Hour Family Portraits, that creates unusual portraits by representing audio — not visual — characteristics of a family. Using 24 hour sound logs (self-reported by mothers) the artist shapes colorful spheres representing each “shouting event” by a family member. The result is a humorous assemblage of bright, cheery balls piled together in a jumble - much like the soundscape that continuously runs in any household with small children. Miller will also present archives from her internationally renowned The Milk Truck, her Homeschooled series