MamaCITA is an award-winning Cooperative in the Arts that provides its members a collective voice within the art world. All members are professional artists and all are mothers.
MamaCITA’s mission is to support each member in reaching her full artistic potential. Together, members plan and execute art exhibitions, teach workshops, display gallery work in varied venues, and support social change and philanthropic causes. The diversity of artistic approach and professional background is one of the groups’ greatest strengths.
MamaCITA members are accomplished artists who are also authors, educators, business owners, art editors, international workshop leaders, designers, curriculum developers, jewelers, painters, photographers, muralists, web developers and bloggers. Published work has been featured in periodicals (Newsweek, Trends, Country Living, Philadelphia Stories, Horticulture Magazine, etc.) and in Fine Art Books (Forgotten Philadelphia: Art and Writing Inspired by Philadelphia Heritage Sites and Extraordinary Gifts: Remarkable Women from the Delaware Valley). Members have been profiled on NPR, Newsworks.org, PHL Channel 17, 95.7 BEN FM’s Woman of the Week, XPN Arts Crawl, The Philadelphia Inquirer, and many local publications.
MamaCITA artists have achieved numerous honors including:
Grants: Leeway Foundation for Art and Change, Cultural Alliance/PA Council on the Arts, Delaware Division of the Arts, Rivers Merging, Minneapolis Institute of Arts, Carnegie Institute, University of Hartford Graduate Thesis Grant to Paris, France
Fellowships: Fulbright Fellowship, Temple University Fellowship, Yale University Summer School of Music and Art Fellowship
Awards: Philadelphia’s Mothers in Charge Peacemaker Award, Best in Show at Abington Art Center & Best of Philly, Cheltenham Center for the Arts Linda Brener Award
The MamaCITA artists work in a variety of mediums including oil, acrylic, encaustic, collage, casein tempera, photography, watercolor, fabric, printmaking, metalsmithing, wire, digital media, and paper mâche.
Facts & Figures:
MamaCITA maintains a membership of approximately 20 in the Philadelphia area.
Its auxiliary also retains several members in the Mid-Atlantic and New England regions.
History of MamaCITA
Founder: Melissa Tevere, B.F.A. Tyler School of Art, Temple University, Artist/Painter, Writer, Business Owner
Portrait of Tevere’s Two Children
In 2005, Melissa Tevere was twenty years out of art school and in the throes of raising two young children, ages one and four. She loved being a mom but she felt that her identity as an artist was slowly slipping away. While her children were napping or after they went to sleep at night, she would escape to her attic studio for a little bit of art making before the fatigue of being a stay-at-home mom set in.
Compounding the situation was the reality that Tevere had no connection or association with other working artists. The artwork that she did manage to create during this solitary stretch sat in her studio, facing the wall. She felt completely isolated.
Instinctively, Melissa knew that to begin showing and selling her paintings she would need a support network. So, she actively sought out women who shared similar passions and experiences and who could join together in an intelligent, collaborative, and artistic effort.
Tevere did not search long. Other female artists soon found her—artists from her own community and the surrounding Philadelphia area.
These women came from diverse backgrounds: former art school graduates, professionals from the corporate world, and educators. They worked in different mediums. Their ages spanned two decades. And, they were raising children from one year to teenagers. Despite this diversity, Melissa recognized two important factors—attributes that would create strong bonds and a powerful, creative force. They were all mothers. And they were passionate about art.
In 2006, Melissa Tevere founded MamaCITA. Ten years later, MamaCITA is still going strong.