An Art Show for the Grandmothers

September 2011

Text Included in the Exhibition:

I am the granddaughter of a quilter, daughter of a seamstress and jewelry maker and the first to work as an artist in my family.

With An Art Show for the Grandmothers, I am claiming my creative heritage, a heritage that isn’t found in a museum or a gallery, but spread on my bed, worn close to my skin, and ingested at family meals. I am creating a home space to showcase the works of the amazing women ancestors that make up my community. This is a home space that is on display for anyone in the neighborhood to see and to recognize the artful, feminine creative expression that exists in our everyday existence.

By partnering with local community members, the goal was to curate a group exhibition that showcased items made by women elders in an “art show.” A storefront that was part of the Oakland Art Murmur was the exhibition space. An Art Show for The Grandmothers intended to elevate objects and creative expressions (for example: cooking and dress-making) that were otherwise considered mundane to the same level of value as art pieces. This was also to acknowledge that  we each have a creative heritage. This felt especially pertinent as I am the first “official” artist in a family that has never considered being an artist a viable career option.

The pieces were chosen from an open call in the storefront window, a call to the general community, and also drawn from those that approached the artist during a Saturday spent serving artist Cristina Victor’s grandmother-inspired flan.

Special thank you to all participating mothers, grandmothers, sons, daughters, grandchildren, and great grandchildren that participated in this show, including my grandmother Alberta Dorn and mother Peggy Lawson.

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