Hemming and Hawing
September is a very full month if you're a parent with kids on a traditional school year calendar. This September was especially full, given two new schools for my 5th and 9th grade sons. As an artist mother, I was embarking on the decision whether to participate in the Thrive Together Network's bi-annual virtual artist residency, I was fearful it would be too much.
In April, I visited Greenville, SC, with artist Katrina Berg. She was in town visiting her daughter for a dance competition and invited me to join them for the weekend. It was a much-needed break from home and important time spent around art, seeing new places. I've been thinking about how important it is for us to experience wonder and joy, so going out of our comfort zone is one way we can do that.
Knowing I would be in Greenville, SC, I decided to reach out to Lucy Boland, an artist whom I met last year at the Artist Mother Retreat in Black Mountain, NC. Lucy and I connected over an intense hike and many art making experiences during that weekend; her energy was infectious and memorable. She's based in Spartanburg - just next to Greenville - so I couldn't drive back to Durham without meeting her for lunch and visiting her studio.
I'm so happy I saw her work in this space, especially since she's currently hosting a studio moving sale as she's relocating her workspace. It's been a bit since the end of April, and not everything is fresh in my mind that we talked about. I'll leave you with the morsels I remember, and hope you'll seek out her work and find out where she lands, maybe even collect something from her!
CHECK out Lucy's work In PERSON July 13 - 15th in her Spartanburg, SC, studio, located at 146 E. Main Street, Spartanburg. She's hoping to sell everything in her inventory before her move.
Connect with Lucy:
Meet Lucy Boland Artist (https://shoutoutatlanta.com/meet-lucy-boland-artist/)
Scroll down to see pics from my visit and you'll get a sense of Lucy's work and her infectious energy.
I fled my home for a quick weekend respite away to Greenville and Spartanburg, SC upon hearing that my IG artist mother pal, Katrina Berg, told me she was travelling to South Carolina from Utah. She was going to be in Greenville for the weekend, and once I made plans to make it happen, realized I would be just 40 minutes away from another artist mother, Lucy Boland, who I met at an artist retreat last year.
Greenville is just about 3.5 hours from Durham; not a quick trip, but given Katrina's distance from me, I wanted to make this happen. Planning this 48 hours was not for the faint of heart - my husband took over logistics with my two sons - with two different sporting obligations, an overnight stay for one of them, help from another family with an overnight, and I coordinated dog boarding. It worked! I was gone from Friday evening through Sunday afternoon - full of conversation, art, good food, and enjoying the beautiful weather in South Carolina.
This is proving longer than I intended, so read on for PART 1: Greenville. PART 2: Spartanburg is to follow. Sign up for my Newsletter so you don't miss it's publication. And, there are deeper reasons for needing a getaway - you can find out all about it in my last email here.
This past February I participated in a virtual artist residency supported through the Artist Mother Network. It was a month full of creativity, productivity and getting me out of old habits and into new. While, not everything stuck, I found the experience and work is giving birth to new ideas just now.
Later in the year, the Artist Mother Network, host of the Artist Mother Podcast, merged with the Thrive Artists Network, giving birth to the Thrive Together Network, which I have been a member of since they formed. Building on the February residency idea, the new network put forth the idea of a September Virtual Residency. Part fear of missing out, and part needing a kick in the butt while going through many health challenges, I decided to participate.
What I neglected to consider is the whirlwind of September, due to the first month of school and both of my boys participating in baseball for the first time together, and my ongoing health challenges. I energetically pushed forward and created a plan with Thrive's guidance and some ideas from other artists on the network.
Since moving to Durham, NC, I've joined two Artist / Mother groups - one a global network and second, a local, in person group based in the Triangle. It's been a boon of education, support and collaboration. I've done everything from getting involved in a professional development course, called Wearing All the Hats, to participating in a one-month Virtual Artist Mother Residency during February all through the Artist/Mother Network (both an online community, as well as a podcast). Now, the local group has gotten together to participate in a group show that is part of a global initiative of women artists taking up space (developed through the collaboration of the Artist Mother Network and the Thrive Artist Network.
Opening on Friday, May 6th, from 6 - 8pm, at the Pocket Gallery in Raleigh, NC, and running through the month of May, Taking Up Space includes a group of eight women artists living around the Triangle, specifically in Durham, Hillsborough, and Raleigh. The Pocket Gallery is the working studio and and gallery of artist/owner, Caitlin Cary, who is showing us and exhibiting with us in her space. We are just one of 80 shows that will be hosted globally!
Featured artists include: Caitlin Cary - Jean Gray Mohs - Natalia Torres del Valle - Kelly Sheppherd Murray - Susan Martin - Joanna Moody - Jennie Traill Schaeffer - Shanny Kohli
The work women artists create is important and deserves to be seen by our communities. “13.7% of living artists represented by galleries in Europe and North America are women,” according to Julia Halperin of artnet News in “The 4 Glass Ceilings: How Women Artists Get Stiffed at Every Stage of their Careers," cited by the National Museum of Women in the Arts. This all-inclusive exhibition is the beginning of a yearly invitation for female-identifying artists to exhibit work and invite our communities to view important contemporary art made by living working women artists. This is the beginning of a large community project to bring women artists into conversation with each other.
LEARN MORE about the show here.
Works possibly included by Jennie Traill Schaeffer. You can learn more about these works on Jennie's Instagram feed. AND, follow #TAKINGUPSPACE2022 on Instagram.
Jennie Traill Schaeffer
Deemed the Kitchen God's Artist by NJ Savvy Living for my sainted appliances, I'm now known more for my vibrant, meditational paintings of chairs set surprisingly in landscapes. Since relocating to NC from NJ, mothering my two sons, and caring for our rescue pup, Cider, took the lead. Now, that my Durham home studio is renovated it's open again for virtual art coaching and the resumption of my personal art and commissions. The work I make is inspired by my joy of teaching, exploring nature, and traveling. On The Teaching Artist Blog, I share my approach to teaching and educate my readers about my creative process.
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