In 2016, the collective was formed in response to a practical need for accountability, encouragement, and feedback in the process of making new work, and a desire to articulate a model for feminist, women-centered, sustainable creation processes that integrate life and all of its chaos into a viable and valued way of being and creating. This positive valuation of our unique lived experiences as individuals from diverse backgrounds juggling the challenges of parenting, making a living, and creative production in its many forms is positioned against the dominant culture of art production which increasingly mimics a corporate model of production, marketing, PR and specialization.
art/mamas exhibits locally and meets once a month to critique and discuss the work in progress of their members. Without understating the real structural constraints of parenthood on their individual practices, the collective aims to highlight the cultural relevance and artistic contributions of mothers and take a positive view of the multifaceted meaning, grit, commitment, insight, and knowledge that this position generates in their work.
In March of 2017, the group was invited to exhibit at Vancouver’s Fazakas Gallery within the group show “SHE-I-LA: Women, Art, and Production”. art/mamas also led a lively panel discussion at the gallery which captured their formation, philosophy and process. In September 2017, art/mamas exhibited “Quality Time” at Kwantlen University’s Arbutus Gallery, in Surrey, BC.
More recently, art/mamas has been invited to participate in a collective residency at Plot Space, at Access Gallery in Vancouver during the summer of 2020. art/mamas will organize a series of informal discursive events, modelled on their monthly meetings, featuring invited guests and focusing on three broad topics: dialogue and mentoring between different generations of artist mothers in Vancouver; parenting and precarious labour in the art community; and media art, motherhood and activism. They will collectively generate creative works and documentation in response to these events, culminating in a publication and a final gathering to experience accumulated studio and performance-based works.