‘Dear Mama,’ a pop-up show at WOAC

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WEST ORANGE, NJ — The West Orange Arts Council presents “Dear Mama: Perspectives on American Motherhood,” curated by Marina Carreira. “Dear Mama” will open for in-person, timed-entry visits at the West Orange Arts Center, 551 Valley Road in West Orange, on Saturday, April 24, and be on exhibit through Saturday, May 22. A majority of the artists will be at the gallery on the weekend of May 2 for a light reception event.

This exhibit was designed to explore how the complexities of motherhood impact the work and identities of artists, activists and citizens. Participating WOAC artists include Shaquora R. Bey, Marina Carreira, Nina Cioppettini, Maria Estrela, Nette Forne Thomas, Cathleen McCoy Bristol, Sylvia A. Padilla Lalaleo and Onnie Strother. The work ranges from traditional techniques to assemblage, collage and sculpture. 

The premise for “Dear Mama” was conceived by Carreira, a queer Luso-American writer and multimedia artist from Newark. This is Carreira’s second show at the WOAC as curator. Author as well as artist, she explores themes including family dynamics, motherhood, spirituality, intersectional feminism and activism.

“Many of the works are about renewal, which is a refreshing theme after a year of COVID, as we felt so much of our normal existence was upended, a new perspective on an age-old role provides reflection for the viewer,” Carreira said. “The artwork also reveals the diversity of experience that motherhood holds for different women, including women of color and LGBTQ mothers.”

According to WOAC Chairperson Patricia Mitrano, “We were interested in presenting a thought-provoking show that is not what is traditional or expected, despite the familiar and endearing title of this exhibit.”

The “Dear Mama” exhibit will be open for in-person visits; timed-entry appointments are mandatory. More information is available at www.woarts.org