July 2017 – Both Artist and Mother AIA Residency

The Stats

Screen Shot 2017-07-28 at 10.58.27 PMName: Kate Fisher, Kristin Pavelka, Amy Smith, Alicia Mack, Jess Parker, Erin Furimsky, & Rhonda Willers
Residency Location: Red Lodge Clay Center in Red Lodge, Montana.
Preferred Art Medium(s): Clay
Children (ages and gender): ages 2 to 14. Boys, Girls, Twins.

I had the opportunity to spend three weeks in Montana during late June and Early July taking part in a residency. All of the women participating in our Artist-Invite-Artist residency were moms working in clay. And all of the moms in the AIA residency were generous enough to share their stories through this project.


Both Artist and Mother AIA 2017 Group

One of my great hopes for the Both Artist and Mother project is that it would create a community. Through the interview process I read/listened to artist/mothers describe isolation in a cornucopia of forms. This residency was the chance to turn our virtual community into a reality for a brief slice of time. While residencies are often about artistic sharing the connection we have, as mothers, provided and unspoken understanding between us all. It was a truly unique experience to share both an artistic and maternal language with a group of other female artists.


Firing Soda the Soda Kiln

I don’t think that I can accurately convey the felling of support, community, camaraderie, and fostered while working side by side in the studio. We also enjoyed the opportunity to explore the landscape and summer events offered by the Montana mountains. The time to focus on our studio practice and self without the mental noise of family, domestic chores, and daily life distractions is rare.

Thank you to the staff at Red Lodge Clay Center for having us this summer. Finally, I would like to extend my sincere gratitude to all of the family, in-laws, husbands, and friends who cared for our children while we tended to our studio practice. We thank you for being our villages.