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INSTALLATION OF LABOR MOTHERHOOD & ART IN 2020- Bunny Conlon Modern and Contemporary Art Gallery

In the Bunny Conlon Modern and Contemporary Art Gallery we aim to navigate the theme of Motherhood through the lens of the NMSU Permanent Art Collection. Like numerous museums globally, whether purposeful or unintended, our collection presents a relatively heavy male perspective of motherhood. When curating this selection, special care was given to highlight the rare examples of the maternal experience by leading feminist, queer, and diverse artists present within the collection. These works display a nuanced art historical vision of motherhood, and throughout this space, an intergenerational discussion of artistic practice and research is presented as it relates to the visions of motherhood and parenting in the 20th and 21st centuries. These works explore complicated representations of family, identity, reproductive choice and gender through the experiences of women and men that take on the concepts of patriarchal and matriarchal identities through the use of various mediums. In 2016 a new collecting mission was established to transition the UAM’s focus onto collecting significant works by leading female, LGBTQ and other underrepresented artists to more accurately reflect diverse cultural and social communities. We, in the University Art Museum, intend for this first exhibition to be another step towards diversification and equality within our exhibitions and collections going forward into the future at NMSU.

Artist in this gallery include: Ann Fessler, Carolyn DeMeritt, Graciela Iturbide, Hollis Sigler, Jim Goldberg, Joyce Kozloff, Judy Chicago, Julia Barello, Larry Sultan, Manuel Carrillo, Robert D’Alessandro, Roderick Mead, Russell Banks, and Shelby Lee Adams.

This gallery was curated by Courtney Uldrich, MA Candidate, 2021 as part of the course ART 597: Curating from the Collection.

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INSTALLATION OF LABOR: MOTHERHOOD & ART IN 2020- Mullennix Bridge Gallery

During the course of the exhibition, the University Art Museum at New Mexico State University further explored motherhood through the lens of our students at NMSU and the regional community of Southern New Mexico in the Mullennix Bridge Gallery. As part of the exhibition Labor: Motherhood & Art in 2020, NMSU Department of Art Master of Fine Arts students and artist-mothers Katrina Chandler and Maggie Day applied to and took part in Lenka Clayton’s An Artist Residency in Motherhood – a self-directed, open-source, artist residency that empowers and inspires artists who are also mothers. From August 2019 – January 2020, Chandler and Day were given four hours per week to create their artist statements, bios, studio practice structure and artworks all exhibited here in this gallery and created in their new studios within Devasthali Hall. As part of their residency, the University Art Museum provided two-hour classes for their children once a week to create artwork while their mothers were given time and space to work in their studios. The artworks exhibited here represent what happens when we create a support structure for mothers on the campus of NMSU and when motherhood is offered as a rich concept to explore within academia, rather than an obstacle to overcome. Also within this gallery we view “Let Them Bloom”, a papel picado series coordinated by Bold Futures, formerly Young Women United, and collectively imagined by the women in the Mesilla Valley Art & Organizing cohort and crafted by Las Cruces artist Bryana Valdez.

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