West Orange Arts Council, West Orange, NJ 07052

West Orange Arts Council - 551 Valley Road, West Orange, NJ

West Orange Arts Council - 551 Valley Road, West Orange, NJ

Dear Mama: Perspectives on American Motherhood

The West Orange Arts Council (WOAC) presents “Dear Mama: Perspectives on American Motherhood” curated by Marina Carreira.  Dear Mama will open for in-person timed-entry visits at the West Orange Arts Center, 551 Valley Road in West Orange, New Jersey on Saturday, April 24, 2021 and be on exhibit through Saturday, May 22, 2021. A majority of the artists will be at the gallery on Sunday, May 2 for a “lite reception event.”

This exhibit was designed to explore how the complexities of motherhood impact artists, activists, and citizens and their identities. Participating WOAC artists include Shaquora R. Bey, Marina Carreira, Nina Cioppettini, Maria Estrela, Nette Forné Thomas, Cathleen McCoy Bristol, Sylvia A. Padilla Lalaleo, John Piccoli and Onnie Strother.  The work ranges from traditional techniques to assemblage, collage and sculpture. Titles include “Grows on Me” by Maria Estrela, “Mama’s Bracelet” by Cathleen McCoy Bristol and “Maternity” by Marina Carreira.

The premise for Dear Mama was conceived by WOAC member Marina Carreira, a queer Luso-American writer and multimedia artist from Newark, NJ. This is Carreira’s second show at the WOAC as curator. Author as well as artist, she explores themes comprising of family dynamics, motherhood, spirituality, intersectional feminism and activism.

“Many of the works are about renewal, which is a refreshing theme after a year of COVID, as we felt so much of our normal existence was upended, a new perspective on an age-old role provides reflection for the viewer,” states Carreira. “The artwork also reveals the diversity of experience that motherhood holds for different womxn, including WOC and LGBTQ mothers.”

According to Patricia Mitrano, WOAC chair, “We were interested in presenting a thought-provoking show that is not what is traditional or expected, despite the familiar and endearing title of this exhibit.”

The Dear Mama exhibit will be open for in-person visits, and timed-entry appointments (sign up here: https://www.signupgenius.com/go/30e0e44aba62faafd0-dear) are mandatory. Hours posted on www.facebook.com/woac.org .  Attendees are required to social distance and wear face coverings at all times. More information is available at www.woarts.org.


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