Washington Project for The Arts Presents Artist Mother Studio (AMS) Conference

By Editorial Team on October 30, 2018
AMS artists-in-residence Anne Smith and Katherine Mann working in their studios at WPA while AMS creator Amy Hughes Braden visits and AMS caregiver Dani Simms watches their children. Image by Brackish Photography.
Conference: Saturday, November 3 from 10am to 6pm

Please join us this Saturday, November 3 from 10am-6pm at Howard University’s Interdisciplinary Research Building (2201 Georgia Ave NW) for the Artist Mother Studio (AMS) Conference. The AMS Conference seeks to elevate the voices of artist mothers/caregivers, and continue important conversations about communal labor and how mothers can leverage their experiences for positive societal change.

This is a part of an artist-driven project organized by DC-based artist Amy Hughes Braden and marks the culmination of a nine week artist-in-residence for artist mothers at WPA. The conference is free to attend and includes lunch, one copy of Maternal Journal (a publication of AMS) and childcare (childcare is currently full, but you will be added to the waitlist, or just bring your child to the conference with you). Attendees must register in advance. 
The AMS Conference includes:
  • A discussion about AMS with original participants Mariah Anne Johnson, Tsedaye Makonnen, and Amy Hughes Braden led by Kayleigh Bryant-Greenwell, Supervisory Public Programs Specialist with Smithsonian American Art Museum.
  • A zine workshop and talk with China Martens, author and editor, and creator of the longest running zine on raising kids titled, The Future Generation.
  • The launch of the AMS zine, Maternal Journal, compiled and edited by Amy Hughes Braden and Raina Martens, with an introduction by China Martens.
  • Open studios with current AMS artists-in-residence Leah Lewis, Katherine Tzu-Lan Mann, and Anne Smith.
  • Support Artist Mothers! The following will be available for sale at the conference: T-shirts by Tyra Mitchell, creator of @artmomproject, a platform for artist mothers to connect and support each other, and copies of The Future Generation, an anthology of China Marten’s zines.

Find more information and register to attend here.

About the Participants:

Amy Hughes Braden, AMS Creator, Panelist, Organizer, and Maternal Journal co-editor
Amy Hughes Braden is a DC-based artist, who graduated from the Corcoran College of Art & Design in 2011. In 2017 she was the Artist-in-Residence at the Cafritz Foundation Arts Center at Montgomery College, which followed her residency and exhibition at VisArts in Rockville, MD. Braden has worked extensively with the arts non-profit Transformer, including being selected to travel and present her work in Rome in 2016. She has been awarded an Individual Artist Fellowship from the DC Commission on Arts and Humanities for the past 3 consecutive years. The DCCAH has also funded two cycles of Artist Mother Studio, a program Braden created to support caregivers who are artists, and highlight their invisible labor. She maintains her painting practice at Red Dirt Studios, in Mount Rainier, MD.

Kayleigh Bryant-Greenwell, Moderator
Kayleigh Bryant-Greenwell is a Washington, DC native and cultural programmer with extensive experience working in galleries, libraries, archives, and museums. She is devoted to engaging marginalized audiences through art, museum, and social justice practice. As a DEAI (diversity, equity, accessibility, inclusion) facilitator, Kayleigh is a contributor to national initiatives on equity and inclusion in museums. Recently, she moderated the keynote conversation on education and equity for the American Alliance of Museums 2018 Annual Conference, served as education specialist with the Smithsonian Institution National Museum of African American History and Culture, and launched the Women, Arts, and Social Change initiative at the National Museum of Women in the Arts. She has curated ten contemporary art exhibitions exploring race, gender, politics, and social issues. She is a frequent juror, guest lecturer, panelist, and moderator of national and international art exhibitions, conferences, and initiatives. Kayleigh is excited to begin her new role as Supervisory Public Programs Specialist with Smithsonian American Art Museum in October 2018. She will be responsible for an extensive calendar of art engagements at SAAM and the Renwick Gallery.

Mariah Anne Johnson, Panelist
Mariah Anne Johnson is a native of Little Rock, Arkansas, where she spent her childhood studying dance and attending art classes at the Arkansas Arts Center. She focused on art and English at Rice University and was a member of Rice Dance Theatre. She earned her MFA from the University of Illinois in 2006. Her work has been exhibited around the USA, from Los Angeles to New York, Houston, Chicago, and Washington, DC, where she lived and worked from 2009 until 2018. While in DC, Mariah was a painting and drawing professor at George Washington University and an artist-in-residence at Montgomery College. Her recent projects include a 2016 solo exhibition at BlackRock Center for the Arts, and a year-long site specific artwork in her backyard, titled Backyard Sublime: Meadow Project, involving gardening, performance, drawing, and social media. She recently participatedin a series of international artist residencies in Viborg, Denmark; Berlin, Germany; and Hafnarfjörđur, Iceland. 2017 marked Mariah’s return to dance, as she began performing with darlingdance company. In 2018 she relocated to Los Angeles and looks forward to the shifts in her practice that new surroundings will bring.

Tsedaye Makonnen, Panelist
Tsedaye Makonnen is an Ethiopian-American interdisciplinary artist. Other titles she bears and which inform her art practice are mother, educator, and birthworker. Her work attempts to convey the African Diaspora’s creative responses to forced migrations and our attempt to assimilate and recreate the Self within new territories. Through sculpture, prints, performance, photography, video and installations she explores the universality, resilience and contradictions found in blackness across borders. Tsedaye is the 2018 DC Public Library Maker-in-Residence, recipient of the 2018 DCCAH Arts Fellowship grant and a former Artist-in-Residence at Artist Mother Studio. In 2018, she co-curated a multidisciplinary exhibit titled Hyphen American at Gallery 102 featuring 20 artists. In the past she has performed at Art Basel Miami, Smithsonian National Museum of African Art, Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery, El Museo del Barrio, Pratt Film Institute, Queens Museum, Festival International d’Art Performance in Martinique, Chale Wote Street Art Festival and more. This summer, through the support of her residency with DCPL, she completed a residency at El Anatsui Studios in Nsukka, Nigeria and traveled to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia for a cross-cultural exchange among artists and institutions. Currently she is showing sculptural work in Pittsburgh at the August Wilson Cultural Center, in a group exhibition, Familiar Boundaries, Infinite Possibilities, curated by Kilolo Luckett.

China Martens, Panelist and Author
China Martens is a zinestress extraordinaire based in Baltimore. Her first book, The Future Generation: The Zine-Book for Subculture Parents, Kids, Friends & Others, is a compilation of sixteen years of her first zine. She is also the co-editor of Don’t Leave Your Friends Behind: Concrete Ways to Support Families in Social Justice Movements and Communities and Revolutionary Mothering: Love on the Front Lines. Since 2003, China has facilitated workshops to support for parents and children in activist and radical communities. In 2009, she co-founded Kidz City, a radical childcare collective in Baltimore.

Raina Martens, Maternal Journal co-editor
Raina Martens is a multidisciplinary artist based in Washington, DC. Trained as a ceramicist, they make artifacts that dramatize the entanglement of social and material worlds. They also play guitar in the band Ultra Beauty and study philosophy and theory. Recent accomplishments include the release of Ultra Beauty’s self-titled EP on Sister Polygon Records, Soil Lab, a collaboration with Margaret Boozer and environmental justice activist, Glenn Ross, which appeared at MICA, and the opportunity to show a ceramic and research-based work, “A Geology of Hauntings,” at the abolitionist convergence, Fight Toxic Prisons, in Pittsburgh, PA.

Tyra Mitchell, Creator of @artmomproject
Tyra Mitchell is a visual artist and curator born and raised in Washington, DC. Her work focuses on marginalized communities and showcasing the beauty often overlooked within them. After having her twin girls in 2018, her personal projects began to center around documenting families and motherhood.

The AMS Conference and Residency have been funded in part by the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities, which receives support from the National Endowment for the Arts. AMS is also made possible with the generous support of the following individuals: Margaret Boozer, Elizabeth Carberry, Carlyn Caruthers, Deirdre Ehlen MacWilliams, Jenny Fey, Lauren Hilyard, Leslie Holt, Lynnette and Steve Hughes, Rebecca Hook and Joseph Katona, Andrea Limauro, Audrey Neff, Mary Margaret Plumridge, and Jocelyn Sigue.