MA Residency

Mothers in Arts Residency (MA Residency) is a studio space combined with a communal day care. The Residency is specialized in supporting emerging women artists, who are also mothers. Mothers in Arts is free of charge; the artists agree on take turns to work and look after each others children around an organized work schedule.

MA Residency provides studio space for 3 artists (2 domestic and 1 international) and a communal day care for their children. The residency invites emerging woman artists to apply whose children are between 3 months an 24 months old. The Residency gives new mothers an opportunity to continue their artistic development.

The trial Residency takes place in Amsterdam, the Netherlands between March 2017 and May 2017, and will be finished with an exhibition in June 2017.

Background

Mothers in Arts is a small initiative founded by Csilla Klenyanszki, who lives and works in Amsterdam, the Netherlands.

The idea of this project comes from my own experiences, which are based on the first year of motherhood, the social and the daycare situation in the Netherlands & my particular situation as an emigrant artist, without a family network.

The inspiration for this project comes from a “self-directed, open-source artist in residency”, called ARIM. An Artist in Residency in Motherhood (http://www.artistresidencyinmotherhood.com/) was founded by Lenka Clyton and wants to “empower and inspire artists who are also mothers”. I am currently doing a project, called “Pillars of home” during ARIM.

The Residency begins as a small project, because it is supported from the Stipendium Program for Emerging Artist (Werkbijdrage Jong Talent), awarded by the Mondriaan Foundation, based in the Netherlands. This is also the reason, that the Residency will be a trial residency first as the financial resources are limited.

The studio invites emerging women artists to work in the studio when their child is between 3 months to 2 years old. The Residency is designed around the childcare policies of the Netherlands: 3 months is the given maternity leave and 2 years is the minimum age, when children are provided with 2 days a week subsidized daycare. This “in between” period is crucial for an artist-parent: through the strict schedule and the constant attention which a baby requires, critical practice becomes limited.

The trial residency takes place between March - May 2017 and will be finished with an exhibition in June 2017. The trial residency is really important to obtain further funding, which would make possible extending the Residency and making it permanent.

The project exists with the hope that it can help artists to combine their artistic practice with early parenthood. Through the project I wish to put forward a discussion about a problem that affects many emerging artist women when they become parents. Even though, many artists have children, parenthood remains stigmatized in the art world. Therefore, besides the physical and mental challenges of childbearing - which are consuming enough - an added feeling of isolation can be felt by many mothers.

This situation isn’t exclusive for artists of course, it is a common dilemma for most working mothers. After becoming a parent maintaining a professional life becomes difficult.

The project is geared to mother artists and by drawing attention to this hidden segment of the art world I want to stimulate mothers in general. By showing and promoting their existence, I hope that the professional and also the general public realizes and confirms their importance as a matter of public health.