February is the month of Black History, V-Day Love, and Susan B. Anthony Day. How do all these things intersect? Let’s try to connect the dots.
Black History month was codified into law in 1986. Championed by Carter G. Woodson, the ‘father of Black history’ with an agenda to promote Black studies, history, and culture, “Woodson’s goal from the very beginning was to make the celebration of Black history in the field of history a ‘serious area of study.” (Source). He spent his whole life working towards this goal.
As it turns out, the Carter G. Woodson African American Museum is 2.7 miles from the MOM Art Annex in the city of St. Petersburg. This is just one more reason St. Pete is an awesome place to develop our mission here in Pinellas County Florida. We sure do appreciate our neighbors. Next time you stop in to visit us, make sure to schedule a visit at the Woodson Museum too!
And now, with the month of love upon us, let’s give a big shout out for February 14th. Might we propose a renewed focus on brotherly and sisterly love this Valentines Day? Might we push back on violence in this wildly radicalized world. This secular event is celebrated worldwide as a day of affection and romance, yet humans have so much more to improve upon.
Here at MoM: We push back on war. We push back on aggression and lies. We push back on book banning, oppression, and hate speech. We acknowledge the lives lost to violence, the misguided ‘othering’ of individuals, and the patriarchal constructs that continue to dominate our world culture. This year on the 14th, we celebrate the V-Day Movement, One Billion Rising, an activist organization that emerged out of the Vagina Monologues by Even Ensler on Feb. 14, 1998 to stop violence of all kinds around the planet.
Then, rising up on February 15th is Susan B. Anthony‘s birthday. We honor her on this remembrance day for her commitment to suffrage during the first wave feminist movement in the United States. Her work with Cady Stanton, Lucretia Mott, Frederick Douglass and others, as both an abolitionist and then working on behalf of women for the right to vote, are seminal. Though these partnerships were complicated, Anthony a ‘woman’ and Douglas a ‘Black man’ are both significant figures in the early emancipation movements. Remarkably, Anthony’s birthday is a state holiday in Florida. I am proud to say that I still hold the Susan B. Anthony award by NOW-NYC, which proudly hangs in my office at the Annex. See more about the feminist waves below in our Flash Feminism slide show!
What’s next? A lot, it turns out. This Friday, we will be hosting a dinner with YesChefVillage onsite here at MoM. Sunday, February 5th is a sold-out Feminist Pizza Party in our garden to benefit the public arts initiative in Kenwood. I look forward to continuing my work with the St. Pete High School Feminist Club with several projects including this simple booklet introducing the four waves of feminism to students of all ages (See slide show above). I also have the privilege of overseeing detailed projects with interns conducting advanced scholarship in the area of mother studies from around the world! Finally, MoM will be participating in Localtopia 2023 with our own table and information about launching our capital building campaign, while hopefully finalizing the acquisition of the Mother Tree statue. These are just a few of our offerings this month at MoM. Looking forward to the intersections that connect us. See some of our recent tour participants here 🙂 Please donate to our success if you can!
With Love Always, All the Time; Martha JOY Rose, Founder/Director MoM
M.A.M.A.Procreate Project, the Museum of Motherhood and the Mom Egg Review are pleased to announce the 54th edition of this scholarly discourse. Literature intersects with art to explore the wonder and the challenges of motherhood. Using words and art to connect new pathways between the academic, the para-academic, the digital and the real, as well as the everyday: wherever you live, work and play, the Art of Motherhood is made manifest. #JoinMAMA #artandmotherhood #mama
Introducing: Mathilde Jansen
Bio: Mathilde Jansen hails from Deventer (at the IJssel river valley), in the Netherlands. She graduated from the Royal Academy, The Hague (KABK) in 2006. Dar es Salaam has been a second home and source of inspiration. In 2016 she completed the postgraduate studies Education in Arts (Beroepskunstenaar in de Klas) at the Amsterdam School of the Arts. Her primary photographic practice seeks the universal value of natural resources and minerals as a means of tracing the complex relationship between people and the global economy. She aims to create new perspectives from which to examine social structures and the connections between the local and global, which, for Jansen, form the basis of human attitudes, social positioning and intercultural communication. In her practice Jansen consciously interweaves market-driven ways of thinking with an integrated holistic vision of nature, teasing out the borders between the two. Using experiments in analog photography, incorporating awe-inspiring constructions on location and manipulating medium format negatives, she creates a dynamic interplay between subject matter and representation, navigating areas as diverse and all-encompassing as nature and ecology, spirit, and community. Jansen envisions trees and organic structures being planted and preserved in urban spaces, gardens, national parks or anywhere – on a micro or macro level. Her current Landscape projects represent this interplay and interaction between modernization, wilderness and consciousness. [Web Link]
How does motherhood, reproductive identity, or experience inform your work?
Through my recent Landscape projects such as Potential Landscapes, I’ve escaped from the limitations that single motherhood has put onto my life (as a former full-time art and freelance photographer). I was a fully single mom, without a co-parent or similar support, from 2011-2019. All of a sudden, I couldn’t easily travel for an art project, even freelance work in short term or in the evening was hard to undertake. With my Dutch-Tanzanian daughter Daleila, I’ve enjoyed a great time, but the stress and urgency of side jobs, distracted my mind and made me focus too much on external and organizational matters instead of the essence of my life and purpose: what do I feel, need, love and desire (to share in the community)?
To my surprise, I’ve witnessed that people often prefer to judge rather than to offer support. As if my vulnerability triggered hidden fears in people, to stand alone. It takes courage to listen openly. I’ve felt connected to the continent during my time of single motherhood; I had to give up privileges, heal my romantic heart, get used to a more basic lifestyle and nurture my family with resilience. It made me grateful from within.
There came a turning point after meditating as a daily part of my self-care. This restored a creative flow of ideas and palpable steps in my day-to-day life. My resistance against my living circumstances transformed into acceptance and surrender. I truly enjoyed my life with my daughter and allowed any lovely outcome. Besides that, I started to experiment with a technique, to manipulate my medium format nature (and portrait) photo-negatives with ink and organic substances, creating a new type of art photography from my home.
I’d like to highlight the power of neural networks and emotional connection, to expand inner space and outer or creative productivity. Which shifts the focus to the quality of relationships and inner connectedness, as a desired condition for reproduction, also in the form of raising a loving or healthy family.
Reproduction should ideally be a result of mutual interconnectedness in any way. It’s not a goal in itself, to me. Sharing a way of life which supports happy childhoods should be key. So (step)parenting is then a result of love, a responsible task for life and a desire for personal and communal growth, worthy of various forms of support or caring networks. I’d love to call this trans-parenting. There may be no doubt that all people are worthy of love and love-supporting rules and laws, if we can allow society to level up.
As a mother in a family of five (our 3rd child will be born in ’23) I am pro diversity and pro taking social responsibility by free will. Truthful and co-creative connections are my primal desire. Sharing a commitment with my partner, enables me to open up deeply and show my vulnerabilities and powers. Including my biological power to give life to new people born.
Women and men need evolving and daring relationships. I don’t want to exclude men or avoid male structures, instead I’m set to find new structures, regardless origin (or species), which are open to collaborate with (my) feminine and other energies. So we as people can flow in better directions.
In this series I’ve re-shaped my conditioned mind as a (by that time) single working mum, within the domain of my home as a studio.
My role as an artist is entangled with my household and that of a mother and woman. Am I seeing through the fabric of a curtain, or am I hidden behind it? Cleaning, dancing, resting and organizing at home feels as natural to me, as a walk in the forest. It connects me to my heart, body and mind, where intention, dust, touch, move and scents co-exist in an emotional space with walls, doors, closets and transparent windows. As a (former) single mum, our house started to become a spiritual cube to me. It is were we’ve survived and learned to surrender and thrive, from within.
By exploring my natural connection to my home as an extension of Earth and its resources, I’m letting go of old patriarchal structures in which feminine senses and intuitive powers have been dominated or exploited (for the benefits of a power system). In fact I’ve talked to my shower and been drinking water as if coming from a well or source.
In the history of the Netherlands, a natural or spiritual connection to nature has been repressed by the institutional Church for centuries, whilst supporting economical activities and slave trade of the State overseas. A lack of sensual and free emotional expression has caused abuse of (so called) exotic women or even children, without a mutual equal connection.
Nowadays, people tend to project a wild inner nature on (trans)gender diversity. Yet heterosexual mothers often remain ignored or invisible, because the debate about reproduction focuses on a lineair and statistic point of view, rather as the contagious power of love as a reproductive energy. And relationships built on free will and a symbiotic harmony.
Natural forces have first been rediscovered at home, to affect social and economical domains as well. It’s a subtle and playfully provoking process. Poet and Jungian psychoanalytic Clarissa Pinkola Estés describes myths and stories in ‘Women who run with the wolves’.
Domestic Goddess plays with various interpretations of ‘the female archetype’ vocabulary. For people from western or market oriented countries this title might refer to a fantasy world or socially submissive status, defining the role of a woman or tasks in a household in a more less static way. Whereas in various cultures and beliefs a ‘family’ spirit is associated with social integrity or emotional responsivity and implements these qualities on a professional level as well. Nevertheless, this series isn’t about left or right, but about exploring the subconscious and act from that source in daily reality, within your community and living material surroundings too.
Mothership, part 1: Symbioscenes
Mothership, part 1: Symbioscenes
“As the symbiotic interconnections come back into the soil, the ecosystem, and the macrobiomes, the neural and emotional connections return to the psyche to a form of health. What is new in this field is the discovery that many of the foundational forces are invisible to us. We were simply ignorant of them. … The fact that, for the bulk of our time on this Earth, humans have not had to analyze or even be conscious of our positive relationships to the Earth accounts to some extent for our not naming or recording them in the languages that have coalesced to become the English language. They were taken for granted when the world gave generously and continuously of these connections. As the Anthropocene has peeled away the protective layers that held our positive Earth emotions in place, we have come to appreciate and value their role in our psychic health. I have illustrated this loss with my own example of witnessing the destruction of endemism and my endemic sense of place in Western Australia.”
– Eco philosopherGlenn A. Albrecht (Earth Emotions, page 194-195)
Through the container project Mothership, I’m exploring how to navigate in my working and family life, pregnancy and motherhood, while evolving a conscious relationship with the Earth as a symbiosis. My first analogue photographs of a happening at the beach, Symbioscenes, will take part of a multimedia video work which is in progress, as the start of my artist residency in Motherhood, with the long term project Mothership.
Our consciousness is rooted in the soil (under our feet) and skies (beyond our control). What is the message of inner voices that we construct and perceive our reality from? I’ll edit unique audio fragments to play with daily, social structures and invisible powers. Such as eye opening fragments of my grandmother’s diary, which I got after she passed away.
Mothership intertwines female family lines and a psychological connectedness within a natural environment. I’ll visually explore the relationship between my (sub)consciousness and the way my body is one with nature. The project forms a dialogue between my changing life, body and emotional system, but also seeks for new meaning within a collective consciousness. To find a dynamic and valuable truth which is solid enough to be able to build upon the concept of a symbiocene, a term by Glenn Albrecht.
Lisa DeSiro is the author of Labor (Nixes Mate, 2018) and Grief Dreams (White Knuckle Press, 2017). Her poetry is featured in various anthologies and journals, and has been set to music by several composers. Lisa is employed as the Production & Editorial Assistant for a non-profit organization; in addition, she is an editor for Indolent Books and a freelance accompanist. Read more about her at thepoetpianist.com.
MoM is pleased to welcome three new remote interns from around the country, three local high school students, and one high school student from Russia to our projects in 2023.
Two of our local high school students are from the St. Pete Feminist Club. They are working on re-organizing the library and then onto a group project to bring back to the school in March for Women’s History Month. We are also pleased to be working with a third student on graphics to enhance MoM’s ability to create merchandise relevant to our messaging. Our fourth student, working remotely from Russia, will be facilitating data collection on some of the other student’s projects. This is all super fun and exciting.
Next up, Gia and Abbey. (FYI, our feature on Laura (and Maria) ran in November. She’ll be following up on the work of Maria to help create a simplified version of our online coursework this Spring).
Hello everyone! My name is Gia and I am an undergraduate student at Rollins College majoring in art history and minoring in history. I plan to graduate next year and look forward to working in an art/history museum. I chose to start my internship journey at the Museum of Motherhood because of my interest in women and gender studies in the art world. I look forward to all the new ideas I will learn during my time here!
During the spring semester, I aim to create a timeline from the 1960s to the present that connects some of the ever-changing ideas of feminists, mothers, and artists. There will be an inclusion of artworks that I deem to perfectly express the feeling and stigma of motherhood during each decade. I am hoping to map this digitally and set it up as a digital project that others can contribute to as well.
My name is Abbey Wrobel. I’m a current senior at the University of Utah studying history. I am especially interested in women’s history. I plan on attending grad school after I graduate to continue my history education. My dream is to one day be a history professor who specializes in teaching women’s history.
During my time with MoM, I will be working with an editorial team to co-create the Journal of Mother Studies (JourMS), 2023 issue. I have already begun to collate the submissions to the spring MoM Conference and the journal. Now Joy is looking for a lead editor for the project who can spearhead the process. I am looking forward to learning from them over the summer as we work to make the journal happen and get it published.
Two Event Reminders
If you’ve been in touch at all with us in the new year, then you’ve probably talked with Connie, our new Membership Director. While we are still ironing out our system-wide forms, we are getting there! If you are having trouble RSVPing to something or need help with any of our online forms, then please contact Connie@MOMmuseum.org
-Join us for a Feminist Consciousness Raising Sunday, Jan 8th in person or on Zoom
RSVP to attend one of our Mothers’ Club meetups
-Register & Pay the Earlybird special for the MoM Conference 2023 (thru Jan 15th)
This is our final countdown to the Mother Tree Fundraiser in 2022. As of now, we are over halfway to our goal of purchasing this one-of-a-kind artwork from world-renowned paper-maker Helen Hiebert, on loan to MoM until June 2023. We have raised $13,300 towards the purchase price of $25,000. That means only $11,700 left to go! Won’t you help us clinch the deal? The Mother Tree is a seven-foot high handmade sculpture installation featuring single strands of thread which have been crocheted by over 400 participants around the world. Helen is an internationally acclaimed artist, author and educator. The Mother Tree is currently onsite at the MOM Art Annex. She is impactful, lovely, and represents the connection we have to the earth, our families, and our community. Any amount, no matter how small, helps us to secure her for our permanent collection. Your name will be added to the webpage and also onsite at MoM. You can write a check, donate through Paypal or go through our GoFundMe. We thank YOU!
Read on to see all our successes in 2022 and see what we hope to achieve in 2023.
This year we commenced with BIG goals at MoM. In addition to branded content, thanks to our summer interns, we revamped our mission statement to maximize inclusivity while staying true to our goals of elaborating on the art, science, and herstory of m/others.
We recommitted to serving up visible, educational, and inspiring offerings by conducting onsite tours on a regular basis. These tours oftentimes included children. We added to our collections and exhibits, built a vestibule to better enable visitors to view our interior space regardless of pandemics, and held postpartum groups and mothers’ playdates in our garden.
Easy QR MoM Donation with Stripe(Secure Payments)
New team members came on board. Specifically, we welcomed legal advice from local lawyer Larry Dillahunty, and are most pleased to be working with Deborah Gelch in the position of Strategic Advisor, Elena Rodz in website development, Marcile Powers as Arts Facilitator, and Connie Burgess as our new Membership Director and Community Laison.
We continued with our Residencies both remote and onsite, as well as our internship program, adding four new interns poised to start work in the new year. Our international relationship with MAMA collaborators continued, bringing online art exhibits from around the world.
We heartily thank the neighborhood of Historic Kenwood and the Artist Enclave for their great work on the Studio Tour as well as Winter in the Woods, and Bohemia Night at (Kenwood Gables) which MoM participated in, and also want to shout out to SPACEcraft for including us in their latest round of installations in St. Pete, and St. Pete High School for inviting MoM to present at the Art & Feminist Club.
One piece of big news is that our director, Martha Joy Rose took up permanent residence in Florida this year, relinquishing her NY-based teaching job at Manhattan College and further cementing her commitment to MoM locally in St. Petersburg.
We thank you Living Board 2022, Zabrina Shkurti, Nicole Musselman, and two-term Residency Coordinator Tracy Sidesinger. The Annual MoM Conference and the Journal of Mother Studies (JourMS) are ongoing with this year’s hybrid conference scheduled for March 24-26. (Join us online or in person).
This year, we wrote two grants: one was denied and we are waiting to hear on the second one. We received one anonymous foundation award in the amount of $1,000, and we thank all our new members and donors! While our needs are great, as is the case with many non-profits, we have persevered through geographic moves, personnel changes, pandemics, and great and we have SURVIVED and THRIVED!
MoM belongs to you – the public, our members, and our community. Please consider getting involved or making a donation today. Use our donation link or checks can be sent to 538 28th St. N St Petersburg, Florida 33713. Help us GROW!