On View: May 23 – July 17, 2021
Plain Sight presents Don’t Cry Over Spilt Milk by Baltimore-based artist Lee Nowell-Wilson. The exhibition opens on May 23, 2021, and will run through July 17, 2021.
Don’t Cry Over Spilt Milk is an autobiographical inquiry into the ambivalent undertones felt within birth, domestic labor, and human relationship. Through combining the use of mundane household items and figural configurations that reference historical, religious compositions, Nowell-Wilson unweaves a tension felt between the “plainness” of home-life and the required discipline, sacrifice, and tenacity within care-giving. As each household item starts to create form and become a secondary figure in-and-of-itself, Nowell-Wilson examines a tipping point — the line where the maternalistic state of being tips from something sensitive to aggressive, from a tearing tension to close connection—and she invites her viewer into that vulnerable walk. While also combining high realism, abstract marks, and empty contours, Nowell-Wilson speaks metaphorically to elements of weight, physicality, mental health, and veneration; each piece is made in the effort to humorously cry about the growing pains of having children while also examining it as something holy.
Don’t Cry Over Spilt Milk presents two new, large-scale drawings from Lee Nowell-Wilson, along with a floor installation that features the third issue of MILKED, an independent art publication created by Nowell-Wilson along with Darin Michelle Gilliam.
Lee Nowell-Wilson (b. 1989 Easton, MD) is an American figurative artist who builds autobiographical drawings that investigate the emotional and ambivalent undertones within birth, domestic labor, and human relationship. Nowell-Wilson earned her BFA in Painting from the Maryland Institute College of Art in 2011. She has participated in artist residencies with Stay Home Gallery in Paris, TN, Creative Paradox in Annapolis, MD, and the Street Art School in Lyon, France. Her work has exhibited nationally and internationally, most notably in New York City and Scotland, and she has also completed urban art pieces in Norway, France, Northern Ireland, and Chile. In 2019, she founded MILKED, a new arts publication featuring visual art, photography, and the written word by female artists investigating the maternal figure and form. Within the last year, her own work has featured in the second issue of Our Rhythms Our Blues online zine, Stay Home Gallery’s first publication, and “Home-works”, a printed zine by Spilt Milk Gallery about artist-mothers in quarantine. Other notable achievements include speaking on an artist panel hosted by Hamiltonian Gallery, DC, about the “Maternal Creative Instinct”, being interviewed on the Artist/Mother Podcast, and receiving a Creativity Grant from the Maryland State Arts Council.
About Plain Sight
Plain Sight is an independent project created by Teddy Rodger and Allison Nance and born out of the many art space closures during the Covid-19 pandemic. By transforming an under-utilized storefront into an active street-view gallery, Plain Sight presents a series of exhibitions created by local artists that can be experienced in a completely contact-free way. Plain Sight is located at 3218 Georgia Avenue NW in DC’s historic Park View neighborhood. Learn more at plainsightdc.com
This project is generously supported with a Public Art Building Communities grant from the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities, an agency supported in part by the National Endowment for the Arts.