Friday, October 12, 2012

Taking Custody: The Double Life of the Artist Mother

Rachel Papo, Homework, 2012

Taking Custody: The Double Life of the Artist Mother
Next Tuesday night (October 16th, 2012) at 7pm in the SVA Theater (333 W 23rd St, NYC) there will be a never before seen (or heard!) panel discussion made of seven incredible visual artists who are also mothers. 

These women are coming together to talk about their experiences juggling their ambitious careers with the demands of motherhood. 

Sharon L. Butler, Chute, 2012, 24 x 36"
pigment, binder, pencil, dirt on unstretched canvas stapled to the wall

Amy Stein, photograph from her Domesticated series

Several recent articles, most prominently a feature in the July/August 2012 issue of The Atlantic, “Why Women Still Can’t Have It All” by Ann-Marie Slaughter, have brought to light the difficulties of balancing motherhood with a highly-demanding career. But an aspect of this topic that has yet to be thoroughly addressed is how working artists manage their creative calling (often without a steady income) while tending to the daily demands of raising children.

Suzanne McClelland, Spot, Supine, Blind Contour, 2009
72 x 72’’, pastel, acrylic and oil on canvas

  • Katherine Bernhardt, Stars and Diamonds, 2010, acrylic on canvas, 48 x 60"

Many women artists feel that they have to choose between pursuing their passion and having a family, but the artists on this panel will discuss how they are able to successfully accomplish both; what they sacrifice, what they struggle with, when they find time to go to the studio, how they manage childcare, and how they cultivate relationships with their children while remaining committed to their artistic practice.

Renee Cox, Baby Back, 2001

Danica Phelps, Stripebook 7th Generation23 x 30.5 x 1.125″

This is a topic that I am super passionate about, gobbling up every article I can find on the subject (despite the surprising lack of coverage I've found), and am so excited and proud to see this event come together after the last few months of work I've put into it. I really hope the night is a huge success! These women and what they do deserve our support! If you or anyone you know might be interested, please PLEASE PLEASE spread the word! 

- Cathleen 


  1. thanks, nicole! there is going to be a recording of the event so i'll let you know when it is up online!


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