Celebrating Women's History Month: Honoring Women Artists Who Are Caregivers - March 13, 2024

Celebrating Women's History MonthAs an artist and a mother I understand first hand how difficult it can be to balance a studio practice with the demands of caring for children, family, and aging parents. Sometimes, we need to shift our ideas for the creative work we do and maybe even the materials we use. 

Before my first child was born I was creating large abstract oil paintings. My doctor suggested that I put away the toxic oil paints and paint thinner and try something else. This was a difficult adjustment but also a welcome creative challenge. I began using materials like yarn and paper and eventually my children joined me in the studio to create art. 

There are many, many women artists who are also caregivers. I will highlight two of them here. 

Sally Mann is an American photographer known for making large format black and white photographs of people and places in her immediate surroundings: her children, husband, and rural landscapes, as well as self-portraits. Her portraits capture the complexities of family dynamics and the passage of time. Mann's photography explores themes of memory, mortality, and maternal love, drawing inspiration from her experiences as both an artist and a caregiver.

Carrie Mae Weems is an African American artist known for her groundbreaking work in photography, video, and installation art. Weems's art explores themes of race, gender, and class, often challenging stereotypes and amplifying marginalized voices. Her series "Kitchen Table Series" (1990) is particularly renowned for its intimate portrayal of everyday life and relationships, capturing moments of vulnerability, connection, and resilience within African American communities.

In the face of adversity, women artists who are caregivers often find strength in their communities, forging connections with fellow artists and caregivers who understand their unique struggles and triumphs. 

In honoring women artists who embrace caregiving, let us celebrate their resilience, innovation, and unwavering commitment to both art and caregiving.

Who is your favorite woman artist who is also a caregiver?

Try This

Visit a local gallery or museum and seek out the artwork created by women. Learn their stories about how they create and where they draw their inspiration. Maybe you will find a new favorite artist!

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