Artist-Mother/Parent Resources (to 2015)

Image from Dyad Series (#1), 2000 Powdered graphite on paper, 38.5” x 50.75”

Image from Dyad Series (#1), 2000
Powdered graphite on paper, 38.5” x 50.75”

There are so many resources available now for artist mothers/parents, it’s hard to keep track. Here are a few notable resources/inspirations I collected until 2015:

An Artist Residency in Motherhood (Pittsburg, USA) Developed by artist Lenka Clayton it’s “A self-directed, open-source artist residency to empower and inspire artists who are also mothers.”

Artist Parent Index (Virginia, USA) Artist Sarah Irvin‘s “searchable index of artists making work about their experience with reproduction.”

Cultural ReProducers  (Chicago, USA) “Cultural ReProducers is for anyone interested in making the art world a more inclusive and interesting place by supporting arts professionals raising kids”

MotherHouse Studios (UK) “The Mother House was conceived and established by the Procreate Project CIC. The model aims to help artists who are mothers, creatives, freelancers and entrepreneurs, providing an inspiring space to allow them to continue working whilst nurturing engaged parenting.”

Mothers in Arts (Amsterdam, The Netherlands) “Mothers in Arts supports women artists who are also mothers and shines a light on the mother-shaped blindspot within the art world.” Check out their excellent Resources page for listings of initiatives, grants and residencies for parent artists.

m/other voices (Rotterdam, The Netherlands) “m/other voices foundation is a non-profit organisation created for the purposes of initiating, supporting, doing, promoting, raising awareness and giving visibility to maternal thinking, -theory and -research within the arts, culture, philosophy and the society at large, as well as to increase the participation of mothers in the production of art, culture and theory.”

Mothra – Artist-Parents (Toronto, Canada) “Pushing the boundaries surrounding attitudes towards childcare, artist-parents, and the inclusion of children.”

Procreate Project (London, UK) “an arts organisation supporting the development of contemporary artists who are also mothers working across art-forms.”

Studies in the Maternal (Cambridge, UK) “Studies in the Maternal is an international, peer-reviewed, scholarly online journal. It aims to provide a forum for contemporary critical debates about motherhood, and the maternal, understood broadly as lived experience, social location, political and scientific practice, economic and ethical challenge, a theoretical question, and a structural dimension in human relations, politics and ethics.”

Here’s a bibliography of books, articles and films I developed a number of years ago in relation to artist-mothers (and other creative practitioners with children), followed by links to a number of online resources:

Baggesen, Lise Haller. Mothernism. Chicago: Green Lantern Press, 2014. “At the intersection of feminism, science fiction, and disco, Mothernism aims to locate the mother-shaped hole in contemporary art discourse.” [from the website]

Bassin, Donna, Margaret Honey and Meryle Mahrer Kaplan (eds.). Representations of Motherhood. New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 1994.

Betterton, Rosemary. Maternal Bodies in the Visual Arts. Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2014.

Betterton, Rosemary. “Promising Monsters: Pregnant Bodies, Artistic Subjectivity, and Maternal Imagination.” Hypatia. 21.1 (Winter 2006). 80-100.

Betterton, Rosemary. “Maternal Figures: The Maternal Nude in the Work of Käthe Kollwitz and Paula Modersohn–Becker.” An Intimate Distance: Women, Artists and the Body. London and New York: Routledge, 1996. 20-45.

Chernick, Myrel. “Maternal Metaphors: Artists/Mothers/Artwork.” Mothering, Popular Culture and the Arts, special issue of Journal of the Association for Research on Mothering, 5.1 (Spring/Summer 2003).

Epp Buller, Rachel, ed. Reconciling Art and Mothering. Farnham, Surrey: Ashgate, 2012.

Jigarjian, Michi and Qiana Mestrich. How We Do Both: Art and Motherhood (2nd edition). New York: Secretary Press, 2015.

Kinser, Amber, Kryn Freehling-Burton and Terri Hawkes, eds. Performing Motherhood: Artistic, Activist, and Everyday Enactments. Bradford, Ontario: Demeter Press, 2014.

Kirschenbaum, Robert J. and Sally M. Reis. “Conflicts in Creativity: Talented Female Artists.” Creativity Research Journal, 10.2 & 3 April 1997. 251 – 263

Lavender, Bee and Maia Rossini, eds. Mamaphonic: Balancing Motherhood and Other Creative Acts. New York: Soft Skull Press, 2004. “Brought to the kitchen table by Hip Mama managing director Lavender and editor Rossini, Mamaphonic collects confessions and conversations about the exhilarating, entertaining, and difficult aspects of remaining creative while raising children.” [from the publisher]

Liss, Andrea. Feminist Art and the Maternal. University of Minnesota Press, 2009.

Lusztig, Irene. The Motherhood Archives (film), 2013. “Archival montage, science fiction, and an homage to 70s feminist filmmaking are woven together to form this haunting and lyrical essay film excavating hidden histories of childbirth in the twentieth century.” [from the website] Interview with filmmaker Irene Lusztig by Maya Gonzalas from The New Inquiry (July 10, 2013): “The Birth of Motherhood.”

Moravec, Michelle. “Mother Art: Feminism, Art and Activism.” Mothering, Popular Culture and the Arts, special issue of Journal of the Association for Research on Mothering, 5.1 (Spring/Summer 2003).

Power, Rachel. The Divided Heart: Art and Motherhood. Fitzroy, VIC (Australia): Red Dog Books, 2008.

Reid, Leslie. “Afterimage: A Photographic Journal of Making Art and Mothering Teens.” Mothering, Popular Culture and the Arts, special issue of Journal of the Association for Research on Mothering, 5.1 (Spring/Summer 2003).

Romero, Claudia Sandoval. “Motherhood in the Art World” (film). A set of interviews with artists Renate Bertlmann, Regina José Galindo, Christine Hohenbüchler, Stephanie Misa, Tanja Ostojic and Signe Rose, as well as to the curator and art historian Vanessa Joan-Müller

Tanner Boll, Pamela and Nancy Kennedy, directors. Who Does She Think She Is? (film). Mystic Artists Films Productions, 2008. “Society has long pressured women into an either/or situation: Either you raise a family, or you pursue a career. This documentary features five women who do not accept such a division but instead strive to balance their artistic pursuits with raising children. Rather than being detrimental, the challenges of each pursuit reinforce and enrich those of the other.” [from the film website]

Trunk, Mary, director. Lost in Living (film). Ma and Pa Films, 2012. “Filmed over seven years, Lost In Living, confronts the contradictions inherent in personal ambition and self-sacrifice, female friendship and mental isolation, big projects and dirty dishes. The complex realities of family life unfold in this documentary film about the messy intersection of motherhood and artistic expression.” [from the film website]

Smith, Keri. “Truthful Things About Being an Artist and a Mother, (for Amanda)Keri Smith (website). July 9, 2008. Web. January 12, 2015.

Urist, Jacoba. “Why can’t great artists be mothers?New York Times. May 21, 2015. Web. June 20, 2016.

1 thought on “Artist-Mother/Parent Resources (to 2015)

  1. kira

    Hi Eizabeth,

    Thanks for posting this on your blog, I have embarking on a new series on childhood caonstructions of masculinity. We’re friends on FB, so you can have a look at the work in my faculty show at Kwantlen. Let me know what you think? I’ve loved to get some feedback from you. Btw how did that conference go at the roundhouse, was it?…i wanted to see that. hope you’re doing well in the new year so far!


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