Women will never stop discussing the complexities around being a mother and what motherhood (in its many forms) means for their professional life. Within the arts, there are a wide range of disciplines, each with their own subjective ways of determining an artist’s level of success. As individual artists, how do we define success within our practice, our community, and the greater art world? And, at the same time, how are we defining success as mothers?
As The Mother Load project enters its fifth year, we are creating a new way to engage in this dialogue through an anthology--a collection of essays by mother-artists. In collaboration with writer & editor Maggie Messitt, we will work to produce a collection that incorporates your stories and give personal narrative to the broader conversation about motherhood, artistic practice, and success.
We are currently seeking potential contributors to this project and are collecting applications until September 15, 2017. As you answer the following questions, please consider what parts of your story you are most passionate about sharing. What aspect of your life as a mother-artists do you think about with the most emotional and intellectual energy? Was there a single incident that taught you something important and from which others could really benefit? As this anthology focuses on sharing individual definitions of success, what are yours?
Your responses to the following questions will not only provide us with a writing sample, but it will assist our editorial team in determining the direction, if selected, you may (or can) take your essay. Selected contributors will work closely with our team throughout the writing and editing process (story inception, first draft, multiple edits, and a final essay for publication).
NATALIE MACELLAIO is the Professor of Sculpture at Brookhaven Community College in Dallas, Texas. Her work has been featured at 500x in Dallas, TX, HUB by Artisan in Barcelona, Spain and Accident Gallery in Euerka, CA. Co-creator of “The Mother Load,” with Lesli Roberston, this collaboration is an on-going, international project that was exhibited at the Dallas Museum of Art in fall 2014 and The Hannah Maclure Centre in Dundee, Scotland in February 2016. Natalie has a Master in Fine Arts from the University of North Texas and currently resides in Plano, Texas, with her husband and twin 5-year olds.
MAGGIE MESSITT is the author of The Rainy Season, long-listed for the 2016 Sunday Times Alan Paton Award in South Africa, where she was a journalist and editor for 8 years. Since returning to the United States, her essays and reportage have been published in Creative Nonfiction, Mother Jones, and the Southern Poverty Law Center's Teaching Tolerance magazine, among others. As an editor, she has worked with writers ranging from students to Pulitzer and Orange Prize winners, and has a long history of mentoring women and residents of underserved communities. Most recently the 2016 Oftsad Endowed Writer-in-Residence at Truman State University and the 2017 Creative Nonfiction judge for Oregon's Literary Arts Fellowships, Messitt teaches in the MFA programs at Chatham University (PA) and Goucher College (MD). She currently resides in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, with her partner, also a writer, and two step-children--one-part dancer, one-part visual artist.
LESLI ROBERTSON is an interdisciplinary artist. Her studio work and research focuses on textiles and their link to identity, making, and value. She has launched several interdisciplinary collaborative projects focused on Ugandan bark cloth, Sadu weavings of Kuwait, as well as other sustainable practices in the arts including the University of North Texas Natural Dye Garden, through national and international partnerships. Most recently she was awarded a Fulbright Specialist grant for her work in Kuwait and the University of North Texas Foundation Outstanding Lecturer Award. She is co-creator of The Mother Load and resides in Little Rock, Arkansas, with her husband and 7-year-old son.
And, a big thank you to Proximity Magazine, a quarterly collection of true stories, for assisting us with submission collection and review.