Sometimes I wonder if I was born into the wrong family. My mother manipulates glass, metal, precious gemstones and wire into jewelry that passes for wearable art, while her brother, my uncle, is a well-respected and established international artist who creates incredibly thought-provoking pieces. Me? I’m lucky if I can draw the daily stick figure notes I sneak into my son’s lunchbox.
And so, I do my best to surround myself with art. If I can’t really make it, I might as well enjoy others. Thankfully, I live in an area steeped in artistry of all kinds. Even more thankfully, I live in an area where artists think to create amazing installations that combine art and motherhood.
Painter Dara Herman-Zierlein has gathered together an incredible group of artists who just so happen to be mothers (or perhaps…mothers who just so happen to be artists) for an exhibition entitled Super Mom Unveiled. The exhibition features a variety of artists of all ages, each of them expressing their personal experiences and interpretation of motherhood. In addition to Dara, the group includes award winner documentary artists,Margaret Lazarus, sculptor/video artist Ellen Wetmore, photographer Cynthia Newsome, well-known female comic artist Rebecca Midgal from World War 3 publications and Clarity Haynes from The Breast Project Portrait.
I spoke with Dara to learn more about how she came to curate a project like this, and listened intently as she told me of her own path of discovery surrounding motherhood, feminism and art – and how all three have the ability to work cohesively. Feeling isolated after the birth of her son, Dara started thinking about all the ways motherhood was being (falsely) portrayed and fed to her via the media. She quickly grew frustrated with these unreachable notions of perfection – of the “super mom” – and soon found she wasn’t alone. Many years and many paintings later, this installation is the result of Dara’s interest and investigation into motherhood.
More from Dara about the show:
This is not your typical mother art of a photo of a beautiful mother breast feeding her baby or like media projects on T.V. of a woman/mother sweeping the floor happily ever after. These art works are unveiling the truth about the motherhood journey and sharing personal experiences as the world pressures and projects mothers to be super moms. These art works are revealing the realities that are not seen usually in the public eye.
These art works are a healing experience for many women going through real tough experiences like postpartum, raising children alone,teen mom,poverty and more. Somehow knowing you are not alone in any experience makes the situation more tolerable.
Some of these artists are struggling with being mothers and maintaining being artist in a world that does not support either. This exhibit acts as an intervention and support for all women by the humor, honesty in the art works they are viewing. As woman today and the issues of women birth rights are arising with the up coming elections. Women need to be seen in every way we can.
This exhibition will be held June 15 at Whoo Space in Northampton, MA as part of Art’s Night Out. In addition to being a fabulous show, all art will be available for purchase, with 10% of proceeds going to Springfield, MA’s Planned Parenthood!