MOM Art Annex: Exhibition & Education Center

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A Letter From Our Intern – Candace Lecco [LINK]

ABOUT: Candace is a full-time graduate student at the USF College of Public Health. She lives in Connecticut and studies 100% online– when she’s not watching her wonderful (goofy) 2-year-old son because he keeps her super busy. She loves to be in nature hiking and playing in the forest with him during their free time. She is currently wrapping up a poster project for M.O.M. online called “Birth Practices Through the Ages”. We aim to post those shortly here on the Museum of Motherhood website.

A LETTER FROM CANDACE: My academic background in pre-med biology and psychology ignited my fervor for humanistic truth, but hardly gratified my creative temperament, which I tended to with personal literature studies and philosophical musings. I found it difficult to communicate with others as I tried to defend science, because most people view the scientific method as a dusty, dry methodology where bias slips through the cracks, contaminating the entire theory. Few successfully connect the dots that were originally intended in liberal arts education- combining humanities with science to seek the truth and apply it to create a more humane world. Science is a philosophy. It is an art that takes the shape of reasoning. It is a process that only humans are gifted with. We can use the scientific method as a powerful tool but we can notice the cracks. We can see the light shining through them and we can think about what to do about it. We seal them when appropriate and other times it is more appropriate to let nature help reveal knowledge. To believe that science is inherently restrictive and dogmatic is to disempower your incredible capabilities as a human being. As a graduate student at the University of South Florida and a mom, I am proud to intern at the Museum of Motherhood, an organization dedicated to dissolving the systematic barriers of art and science and showcasing the beauty of the motherhood.

After receiving my Bachelor of Science degree from Central Connecticut State University, I desired to look beyond the atomic, molecular, and cellular levels of nature that I had been so focused on in that small campus in that small city, in that small state. I found microbiology so intriguing because it connected the unseen, powerful world of microbes to the superficial human perception of our environment. An elective course on Parasites & Human Disease introduced me to global health disparities and painted an image of health that extended beyond individual existence- public health. I knew that I found infectious disease interesting, I wanted to help people, and I wanted the impact to be big.

I see public health as a beautiful collaboration between humanities and science. That’s exactly what I began studying at the University of South Florida, where I am currently pursuing a Master of Public Health degree in global health, specializing in infection prevention. New insights into the life-course perspective melded with my life experiences more recently to direct my focus to maternal health, which is the foundation of a healthy society. This shift has been informed by my internship at the Museum of Motherhood.

I experienced profound growth and change when I became a mother in 2016 and had a somewhat strange struggle with postpartum depression. It was strange because I had previous knowledge about the condition from the outside-looking-in, and I found that to be valid. But I was also on the inside-looking-out, constantly discerning how I should feel with compassion and anger about what is expected of me, while thwacking myself simultaneously in self-pity and awareness that society and biology have more control over my mental health than I can fix alone. I struggled with breastfeeding until I found help in a local support group. I experienced, firsthand, the benefits of society. These women inspired me, and I found comfort in knowing that when I could log onto Facebook and find help from others who were also up nursing at 3 a.m. I enjoy reading about motherhood in both literature and in psychology and philosophy texts; I ruminate over how I can effectively improve the situation in our society where critique is abundant but action is stonewalled or misguided.

I also found inspiration in global public health leaders, like Hans Rosling, who brilliantly communicated complex data. Rosling used objective data to show that “extreme poverty is the worst health problem in the world today”, and that it should be prioritized over noncommunicable diseases, despite their prominence in numbers. No matter how developed or underdeveloped a country is, the proportion of noncommunicable diseases is ellipsing communicable diseases, yet life expectancies are paradoxically worse; this is an example of science as art- looking at the objective data in the context of our dynamic globe. Disparities associated with maternal and child mortality remains an enormous challenge in nearly all countries, especially the United States, where life-expectancy at birth is the lowest and the maternal and infant mortality rate is the highest of almost all developed countries. Despite non communicable diseases traditionally signaling long-life and high economic status, life expectancies and health outcomes are worse because child mortality rates are increasing due to communicable diseases, malnutrition and lack of maternal services. Maternal health is the foundation of a healthy society.

 

 

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Schedule Your Visit to MOM in January 2018 [Click]

VISIT MOM: Help us celebrate ONE YEAR at our new location in St. Pete! The M.O.M. Art Annex has enjoyed visitors from all over the country. To schedule a visit with us in January 2018 sign up online here or write us: info@MOMmuseum.org

By checking the above box, I agree that I am participating in a tour offered by Motherhood Foundation Inc. at the Museum of Motherhood (MOM) Art Annex at 538 28th St. N. in St. Petersburg, Florida during which I receive information and instruction about mothers, fathers, and families from an interdisciplinary perspective. I recognize that with any activity, unexpected physical injury can occur, and I am fully aware of these kinds of risks and hazards. I agree to assume full responsibility for any risks, injuries or damages, known or unknown, which I might incur as a result of participating on the premises of MOM. I knowingly, voluntarily and expressly waive any claim I may have against owners, volunteers, other participants, and the non-profit Motherhood Foundation Inc. for injury or damages that I may sustain as a result of participating in activities at MOM. I agree that Motherhood Foundation Inc. at the Museum of Motherhood (MOM) Art Annex and its agents may use any image, photograph, voice or likeness, in its promotional materials and publicity efforts without additional compensation. I further understand that by participating in the photography or filming, I release Motherhood Foundation Inc. at the Museum of Motherhood (MOM) Art Annex and its representatives, licensees, employees, photographers, and their designees from any and all liability for any violation of any privacy or proprietary rights. I have read the above release waiver of liability and fully understand its contents. I voluntarily agree to its contents. I voluntarily agree to the terms and conditions stated above.

CONFERENCE: Our second “I ❤ MOM” Conference” takes place on February 16-17th in collaboration with the USF Women’s and Gender Studies Dept. and made possible by a ResearchOne grant. We hope you’ll join us. The event is open to the public through pre-registration. We are excited to feature keynote speaker Andrea O’Reilly and a book launch of the new edited collection, Music of Motherhood by M. Joy Rose, Lynda Ross, and Jennifer Hartman on Friday evening Feb. 16th. Write us at info@MOMmuseum.org.

COMMUNITY: The local Historic Kenwood Artist Enclave has been busy organizing community events, including the Arts Walk coming in March. The new enclave motto “where art lives” is particularly salient considering we really do live and work at the museum.

RESIDENCIES: Thus far, M.O.M. has hosted three residencies. In January, artist and activist, Christen Clifford arrived as our first guest and spent two weeks editing her latest work. She returned again in July. Also, we saw the first summer Spirited Woman Residency with Dawn Louise Parker who has been hard at work on her manuscript titled Forty-Seven Days of Love. In October, we welcomed Hannah Brockbank who joined us for a two week residency. Hannah is a poet hailing from Sussex, England. Her pamphlet Bloodlines will be published by Indigo Dreams in 2017 and she is a Kate Bett’s Award winner (2016). Read more about our residencies here [LINK]

LIBRARY: MOM is proud to announce that it now has the complete Demeter Library onsite!!

EXHIBITS: Try on a pregnancy vest, view anatomically correct dolls, see art from around the world, and experience a new historical display about women’s work in the home.

INTERNSHIPS: We currently have several calls out to local college students for internships for the spring of 2018. Our high school intern, Andres’ has been with us since the spring and is a St. Pete High School senior. He is hard at work cataloging our library and creating a new student exhibit for January 2018. We welcome one new intern in January as well. We’re looking forward to introducing you to her.

ONLINE: In July of 2017, according to our google report 4,239 conducted searches and found us online. We are happy and proud that people are thinking about us. We hope that we can continue to expand in our new location. If you have ideas or want to get on board, please write Museum Director: Martha Joy Rose at MarthaJoyRose@gmail.com Introduction to Mother Studies classes will re-launch with a new partnership sometime within the next six months – stay tuned.

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History, Foundling Wheels, and Experiments in Public Health

During the years that M.O.M operated out of Manhattan’s Upper East Side, posters adorned each of the 2,500 square space’s pillars. These posters focused on quirky and sometimes tragic facts spanning ten centuries of childbirth. One of the most curious posters, and the one that most often elicited conversation from students was the photo and description of the foundling wheel of The Ospedale degli Innocenti in Italy.

Interior courtyard of Ospedale degli Innocenti

This hospital, cum orphanage, history tells us, was an experiment in social welfare and public health fifteenth century-style.

Completed in 1445, the institution received its first abandoned infant ten days later. What the text books tell us differs a great deal from what research anthropologist Sarah Blaffer Hrdy discovered and wrote in her provocative book Mother Nature. While I am not at my desk as I write this blog (travels continue to take me through Italy and the surrounding regions), my memory of her book and scholar Jocelyn Fenton Stitt’s 2014 online MSU course on Motherhood Studies stands out. Challenging romanticized notions of caring mothers fawning over their newborns, the foundling hospital tells a different story.

Artifacts left behind along with abandoned newborns were catalogued & curated

Of all the places on our scheduled visit through Italy this summer, this was the destination I was most excited about. According to Hrdy, hundreds of thousands of abandoned newborns died behind these walls, victims of illness, starvation, and a vast population of women, who through circumstance for a great number of reasons were unable to care for their infants. Challenging the assumption that all mothers can or will care for their babies, most of these children born illigitimately, during times of social unrest, during plagues, amidst starvation, and for so many other complex and wide-ranging reasons, were abandoned in the middle of the night and left to fate.

The hospital was envisioned as a charitable institution six hundred years ago and continues to operate as a museum and advocate for youth through various programs. The museum today tells the story of its abandoned children through artifacts left along with the newborns who had to be tiny enough to squeeze through the grated entrance, pictured below.

The author, M. Joy Rose pictured in front of the foundling wheel gate

Once abandoned, a bell would ring, awakening attendants who would then feed and care for the children. For many reasons, Hrdy tells us, the vast majority of these stories end in death. There simply was no baby formula available (it wasn’t invented until the middle 1800s), and there were not enough wet nurses to go around.
The notion of abandoning a newborn, while repugnant to most, is actually evidence for the ongoing argument that women need to be able to choose when and if they will get pregnant and give birth. Baby boxes and other legitimate contemporary options continue to be available to mothers unwilling or unable to care for their newborns in the U.S. and around the world. The Ospedale degli Innocenti stands as testimate to the social history and personal stories of countless children and their families.

Wet nurses hired to feed and care for the babies

Join me by checking in at my personal blog as I spend the next several weeks traveling Europe ~ MOM Founder, Director, M. Joy Rose

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OXYTOCIN – Birthing the world: A Symposium On M/otherhood [LINK]

EVENT INFORMATION
Royal College of Art, London – 3rd June 2017
Oxytocin is a one-day symposium and programme of performances about mothers, mother art, maternal health & wellbeing.Supported by LADA and under the umbrella of theProCreate Project, the event is curated together with Dyana Gravina form the Procreate Project, Martha Joy Rose from the Museum of Motherhood (USA), Laura Godfrey-Isaacs, artist, midwife and founder of Home Live Art, Sara Paiola, researcher in Law and Human Rights from the School of Law, Birkbeck University and Sarah Dufayard, artist and producer.Oxytocin is an international research and community event focused on mothers and carers. The panels will analyse current critical practices pushing for new strategies aimed at increasing the visibility and representation of women and mothers in society.The symposium will highlight new ideas whereby infrastructures and creative programs can support and facilitate healthy families thus challenging attitudes towards motherhood, female sexuality, birth, depression and human rights. Oxytocin will encourage conversation and exchange between medical, academic and art sectors with the aim to facilitate collaborations between them and increase awareness on women’s rights, mental, emotional and physical needs during pregnancy, labour and postnatal adaptation.The event opens a community discussion aimed at spotlighting the connection between much-needed support for mothers and new approaches that are designed to encourage mothers’ and childrens’ optimum health, professional and artistic development, ongoing education, and continuing connection.The event will consist of panel discussions lead by three sectors (Artists & Academy, Midwifery, Mental Health and human rights) fused with a day programme of performances, installations and live art.
Contact:
Email info@procreateproject.com
Website:  https://www.oxytocinbirthingtheworld.co.uk 

Special Panel: Saturday, June 3rd 10:30AM Royal College of Art

Making Mother Studies Matter: Academics Advocate Fiercely for Art, Maternal Health, and a Lasting Legacy
The self-identified Mother Movement started roughly 20 years ago. In its early years, American bands began singing about motherhood while Canadian scholars began writing about it. The year was 1997. Roughly eight years before that, a few scholars published books examining the subject of motherhood. Sarah Ruddick wrote Maternal Thinking. Barbara Katz Rothman wrote Recreating Motherhood, and these Western works were preceded by Adrienne Rich, Of Woman Born. The texts examined a society based on patriarchal constructions that constrained and oppressed women who were mothers, as well as their offspring.
It has been said that in order to change the future we must understand the past. Likewise, by studying the rising wave of mother-identity-art-making and scholarly texts, this panel aims to explore the legitimacy of mother studies, advocate for it to be levied within academic institutions, and share some of the ways current academics and artists are championing this legacy for future generations.

Martha Joy Rose: Martha Joy Rose is a musician, concert promoter, museum founder, and fine artist. Her work has been published across blogs and academic journals and she has performed with her band Housewives On Prozac on Good Morning America, CNN, and the Oakland Art & Soul Festival to name a few. She is the NOW-NYC recipient of the Susan B. Anthony Award, her Mamapalooza Festival Series has been recognized as “Best in Girl-Power Events” in New York, and her music has appeared on the Billboard Top 100 Dance Charts. She founded the Museum of Motherhood in 2003, created the Motherhood Foundation 501c3 non-profit in 2005, saw it flourish in NYC from 2011-2014, and then pop up at several academic institutions. In 2015, she received a Masters in Mother Studies from CUNY, The Graduate Center of New York. This is believed to be the first individualized MALS Degree in this specialty. She then taught Sociology of Family at Manhattan College before moving to her current live/work space in Kenwood St. Petersburg, Florida, which is devoted to the exploration of mother-labor as performance art. She is a contributing author the The Encyclopedia of Motherhood (Sage Press, 2011), The Twentieth Century Motherhood Movement (Demeter Press, 2011), New Maternalisms (Demeter Press, 2015), and the forthcoming book, Music of Motherhood (Demeter Press, 2017).

Sarah Black -In 2016 a presentation by Sarah Black called “Mother As Curator” at the Annual Academic M.O.M. Conference described her home environment as a video, art, installation, and inter-generational family experience. Her treatise declared that as an artist, she “blurs the boundaries of art, and the personal, family and audience, narrative and auto-biographic practices.” She states that as a “performance maker, she explores the home as both a physical and a metaphysical structure to house the work.” In this way, spaces are informed and co-created by those who participate in its interiors, but similarly, its interiors also hold a template for studying the things it contains from a distance.

Paula Chambers – Paula Chambers has exhibited widely, with a back catalogue of solo shows including most recently “Transcendental Housework” at Stockport Art Gallery, and “Domestic Pirate” at Show Space, London. Paula studied under Griselda Pollock at the University of Leeds for the MA Feminist History, Theory, Criticism and Practice in the Visual Arts. Paula is Principal Lecturer (Sculpture) on BA Fine Art, at Leeds College of Art. She is undertaking a practice‐led PhD at Middlesex University.

Rosiland Howell – Rosalind Howell is a Registered Dance Movement Psychotherapist with the Association of Dance Movement Psychotherapy UK (ADMPUK) with a particular interest in Maternal Subjectivity and Perinatal Mental Health. Her recent publications include: Writing Maternal Ambivalence (and how we love to hate it). MaMSIE.org/blog 2016 A Chorus, a Gaggle, or a Consternation of Mothers. Mommuseum.org 2015 The Loneliness of Parenting Decisions. Juno Parenting Magazine 2014, Love and Hate in Childbirth. MaMSIE.org/blog 2015.

Roberta Garrett – Roberta Garrett is a senior lecturer in the School of Arts and Digital Industries at the University of East London. She has published widely on gender representation in film and literature. She is the author of Postmodern Chick-Flicks: The Return of the Woman’s Film (Palgrave, 2007). Other publications include ‘Female Fantasy and Post-Feminist Politics in Nora Ephron’s Screenplays’ Journal of Screenwriting, 2011, and the forthcoming ‘Gendering the Post 9/11 Movie: Love, Loss and Regeneration in Julie and Julia’, in Mary Harrod (ed.) Women and Genre (University of Illinois Press, 2016). She is currently working on popular representations of the neo-liberal family in literature and film, and has published: ‘Novels and Children: “Mum’s Lit” and the Public Mother/Author’, Journal of Maternal Studies, 2013; and ‘We Need to Talk About Kevin: The Monstrous Child as Feminist and Anti-American Allegory’, in Peter Childs, Sebastian Groes and Claire Colbrook (eds.) Women’s Writing Post 9/11 (Lexington Press, 2014). Her essay, ‘ Cavorting in the Ruins? Truth, Myth and Resistance in Contemporary Mumoirs’, appears in Roberta Garrett, Tracey Jensen and Angela Voela (eds.) We Need to Talk about Family: Essays on Neoliberalism, The Family and Popular Culture (Cambridge Scholars, forthcoming 2016). She is also writing a monograph entitled Writing the Modern Family: Neoliberalism and Representation of Parenting in Contemporary Novels and Memoirs.

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Residency At The Annex [Christen Clifford]

Here at M.O.M., residencies offer an opportunity for an intensive focus on your writing, art, research, or special project. M.O.M. accepts one residency per time period and we are pleased to announce our first opportunity beginning January 1st, for two weeks, with artist, performer, and academic Christen Clifford. Find out more about the requirements to participate here and access our online calendar.

The M.O.M. Art Annex Residency Program is currently open to students, artists, and scholars engaged in the study of women, mothers, fathers, and families. This live/work space in the heart of downtown St. Petersburg, Fl is an opportunity for those wishing to focus for an extended period of time on research, writing, or art-making in a quiet setting, close to amenities, in a supportive environment. If the residency doesn’t work for you, but you want to visit, then you can plan a trip on AirBnB  as well [Link].

M.O.M. has a long relationship with universities and art organizations around the world including: Materials for the Arts (NYC), St Petersburg Arts Alliance (FL), The Mom Egg Literary Review (NY), Procreate Project (London), The Artist Parent Index (Virginia), The Mamapalooza Festival, Demeter Press (Canada), M/other Voices (Rotterdam), Columbia U (NYC), Teachers College (NYC), Manhattan College (NYC), Marymount Manhattan College (NYC), Eckerd College (FL), and more.

About Christen

Christen Clifford, a feminist writer, feminist performance artist, curator, professor, actor, and  mother artist whose performances and writing use her experiences of maternal sexuality, menstruation, rape, and the female body as material, is launching a new project called Pussy Bow.

The Pussy Bow is silky blouse with a long, floppy bow attached to the neck. Currently a popular fashion item, Clifford reimagines it as a feminist action disguised as a fashion accessory. Hers is real pussy bow, printed with images of her own pussy.

Last September, as part of a performance hosted by the dance group AUNTS at New York’s Ace Hotel, Clifford used the wireless internal-camera vibrator Siime Eye to broadcast photos directly onto the walls of the hotel (and to remote viewers through Periscope) from inside her vagina. She took these images and created a pattern that she then printed onto silk and fashioned into a long, thin, stylish scarf. Clifford will donate 10% of each Pussy Bow purchase to Planned Parenthood.

The Huffington Post writes, “there’s an entirely new way to wear genitals,” and Style Mic proclaims the Pussy Bow is “making waves,” and “capping off the biggest fashion trend of 2015.” The Daily Dot lists ideal Pussy Bow models: “Donald Trump. Also: Michelle Obama, Lena Dunham, Cecile Richards [President of Planned Parenthood Federation of America.] Anyone who loves pussy, anyone who loves equality and style.”

We will be updating you as the new Art Annex continues its mission in the new year.

cc_birth

Christen Clifford Live Performance

Featured image on homepage by http://www.anyaliftig.com/

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New Exhibits Are Up In St. Pete. Space Opens By Appointment Only Thurs., Fri., Sat., January 1, 2017

Welcome All –

The M.O.M. Museum Art Annex is poised to open its doors on January 1, 2017. The new hours are by appointment only. You must call ahead or e-mail: PH: 207.504.3001/MOMmuseum@gmail.com. Visitors may also opt to “Spend A Night At The Museum,” Thurs-Sat. More info coming on Air B & B.

Our new Live/Work space is pioneered by M. Joy Rose. Over the last year or two, an explosion in mother-making-art has taken place across England and America. Most recently, The Mother House (a summer experiment by Dyana Gravina and the Procreate Project, Nicola Smith and We Are Resident, as well as others, have inspired and connected art, motherhood, and the greater cultural community.

In 2016 a presentation by Sarah Black called “Mother As Curator” at the Annual Academic M.O.M. Conference described her home environment as a video, art, installation, and inter-generational family experience. Her treatise declared that as an artist, she “blurs the boundaries of art, and the personal, family and audience, narrative and auto-biographic practices.” She states that as a “performance maker, she explores the home as both a physical and a metaphysical structure to house the work.” In this way, spaces are informed and co-created by those who participate in its interiors, but similarly, its interiors also hold a template for studying the things it contains from a distance.

As part of The Arts Enclave of Historic Kenwood, in the city of St. Petersburg, this new location aspires to be several things: an ongoing place to study motherhood, fatherhood, and family; an arts annex, preserving and interpreting objects for public consumption; a place of learning; a place to gather; and mostly, a template for all the possibilities to come, as M.O.M. continues to grow and thrive. (read more below slide show)

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The current exhibit features: Mother The Job, Moms of Rock, African Body Mask, Helen Hiebert, Pro Create Project Archive, Norman Gardner, Capucine Bourcart, Noa Shay, Ella Dreyfus, Helen Knowles, Anna Rose, Vee Malnar, Flavia Testa, Isabel Czerwenka-Wenkstetten, Christen Clifford, our library, including the Andrea O’Reilly Reading Room with the complete Demeter Press works, DVD Collection, CDs and more. Visitors may also enjoy trying on the Pregnancy Simulator Vest or exploring our “Science of Reproduction” exhibit. In addition, I will be using this space to continue to explore mother-labor as performance-art and to teach small groups of students. Here is my very brief bio. I look forward to meeting you soon.

M. Joy Rose holds a BFA in Theater and a Master of Liberal Studies in Women’s and Gender Studies with a focus on Mother Studies. She is a musician, concert promoter, museum founder, and fine artist. Her work has been published across blogs and academic journals, and she has performed with her band Housewives On Prozac on Good Morning America, CNN, and the Oakland Art & Soul Festival to name a few. She is the NOW-NYC recipient of the Susan B. Anthony Award, her Mamapalooza Festival Series has been recognized as “Best in Girl-Power Events” in New York, and her music has appeared on the Billboard Top 100 Dance Charts.