We are excited to announce our newest Guest Artist, Andrea M. Williams. A visual artist and mother of two, Andrea knows all too well the toll that motherhood can take on one’s own body, mind, and spirit and she has turned to her art as a way to heal and find peace. Andrea’s fascination with the body has led her down innovative pathways considering new ways to represent the body and its various functions.
During her guest artist residency, Andrea will continue to develop her artwork focusing on her explorations of motherhood. Continue reading to learn more about Andrea’s life and her artistic journey and about our interview with her:
Parenting is hard work.
Becoming a parent is a profound physical, mental and emotional experience. Before I became a mom, I studied figurative art at academies in Chicago, Florence, and New York. I love the figure but more than that, I am interested in depicting the human body itself. In graduate school I discovered printmaking, which quickly became my passion.
After graduate school, I underwent treatment for some stress-induced medical issues. I began considering the organs and systems underneath the body’s exterior. I had lost regular access to a printmaking workshop, and began carving and hand-printing relief prints at home using linoleum blocks. My work became smaller in scale. I started experimenting with chromatic inks. I drew images of organs layered with abstract linear elements. I left behind the fussiness of registering plates and printed several linoleum blocks together. I cut up prints and glued them back together in layers, adding graphite and watercolor.
This process of assemblage has become a kind of meditation. Instead of starting with a carefully prepared drawing, I head in a direction, unsure of where I will end up. For my guideposts, I use photos of forests taken in upstate New York. Frozen cattails clustered overgrown next to a bank parking lot. Gnarled tree bark. Videos of new spring leaves softly shifting in the breeze. I think about living plants and living bodies and the connection between them. I consider what a body can do, how a body can give life, how a body can deteriorate.
Each of my daughters was born in traumatic circumstances. My first was born 6 weeks premature and my second was born in mid-2020 during the height of the first Covid wave. Each time after giving birth, I experienced postpartum depression. My body had done incredible feats, but it now felt foreign. Over time I realized I needed to regain a balance between caring for my daughters and caring for my mental health. My art practice has become an outlet to cope with, at times, crippling anxiety. It is a meditation on what it means to be an artist, a parent, a woman.
-Andrea M. Williams
About Andrea M. Williams
Andrea Williams is a visual artist whose mixed media works explore motherhood, birth, and the female body. During her time at the M.O.M. residency, she plans to create a suite of works on paper that join elements of relief printmaking, collage, drawing, and painting.
Andrea received her MFA in Painting with a Printmaking concentration from the New York Academy of Art and her BFA from the American Academy of Art in Chicago. Her work has been shown in New York and Chicago. She lives and works in northwest Indiana with her patient husband and two rambunctious young daughters.
If you are interested in applying for a guest residency here at MOM, please go to our website HERE: https://bit.ly/3uRgugm to find out more. BE SURE TO HURRY! Spots have been filling FAST! We hope that future tours of the space will be available soon, but they are by appointment only in Artist Enclave Historic Kenwood: “where art lives.”