Despite well-documented actions and attempts by individual artists and collectives over the past 60 years (and longer) to dismantle patriarchal attitudes toward mothers/caregivers in the arts, little has changed with regard to expectations and pressures on art-working people who parent. Although attention to these issues seems to be increasing, the arts sector still functions on the assumption that everyone participating has unlimited time, money, resources and abilities to devote to the arts world’s success. This assumption is obviously not true for many people, including mothers/caregivers. The answer, when combined with the demands of daily caregiving, is often a catch-22: burnout or dropout.
In this workshop participants will be presented with a brief overview of the mother-artist struggle through (art) history; focus on a few specific case studies to examine how others have negotiated these struggles in work and life; engage in writing and discussion regarding art-related resources, strategies and solidarities; explore the possibility of launching an ongoing group.
This workshop is open to mothers/parents/caregivers who are also artists/curators/creative practitioners—and motherers of any stripe and kind. Participants are invited to submit up to three questions in advance, as well as up to three examples of resources (text, artwork, GIF, quotation, Facebook group, whatever!) that has been helpful to them so far or that they would like to propose as an area for discussion.
*Please note that this workshop will be held at Critical Distance Centre for Curators inside Artscape Youngplace.
NOTE: Limited free child care may be available courtesy of Critical Distance. Please email Shani Parsons at firstname.lastname@example.org to inquire.
Image Credit: Lu Heintz. I LOVE YOU. (excerpt) 2014. 3 min.
Shani K Parsons is an independent curator, designer, and founding director of Critical Distance Centre for Curators, a not-for-profit initiative and space for curatorial practice and inquiry. She has two sons, Jasper (11) and Jonas (4), who make for charming, if somewhat unreliable, gallery attendants-in-training.
Leah Sandals is managing editor, online, at Canadian Art. Prior to working full-time at Canada's most widely read art magazine, she also freelanced about art for the National Post, Toronto Star, Globe and Mail, NOW and other outlets. She is mother to Zadie, a toddler with a taste for pasta, Duplo and high-pitched shrieks/noise art.