MamaCITA Artists

A Mothers Cooperative in the Arts

MamaCITA Members in the News

MamaCITA HR Press Images- Re.Collection 2014

Posted by on Jun 21, 2016 in Press | 0 comments

Images from MamaCITA’s 2014 group solo show – Re.Collection, and 360° collaborative member installation. Cheltenham Center for the Arts. February, 2014. Installation Photographs by Michelle Ciarlo-Hayes Exhibit Photograph by Dana...

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In art, mothers find way to deal with losing a child

Posted by on Apr 14, 2014 in Press | Comments Off on In art, mothers find way to deal with losing a child

In art, mothers find way to deal with losing a child

By Melissa Dribben, Inquirer Staff Writer September 06, 2013 No one believes that they have found the cure for violence. Certainly not the hundreds of women who earned membership in Mothers in Charge by losing their children tobullets and blades. Certainly not Dorothy Johnson-Speight, who founded the group 10 years ago after her 24-year-old son, Kaahliq, was shot to death in Olney by a neighbor during an argument over a parking spot. And certainly not the five mothers in the artists’ collective MamaCITA who came up with an idea for an exhibitto raise awareness about the city’s homicide rate. Working together, though, these women figured that they might as well try to do something. To find yet another small way to push back against the crushing forces of anger, despair, and callousness that drive people to kill. If not to prevent another violent death, then at least to soothe and comfort those left behind. Beginning Saturday, the results of their collaboration will be presented as part of the 2013 FringeArts Festival. Anart installation set beneath the shabby but soaring coffered dome of the Rotunda in West Philadelphia. Acollection of 331 hand-twisted wire vessels – one for each of the city’s homicide victims in 2012. “I didn’t understand it at first,” says Johnson-Speight, recalling her reaction when the artists first proposed the project. They would work together for one year, the artists said. They would invite at-risk children and grieving relatives and neighbors and strangers to twist yards of annealed 18- and 14-gauge steel wire into free-form shapes resembling some sort of cup or basket. “A vessel? How does that connect to a lost child?” said Johnson-Speight. “But it does. I can’t explain it, but it does.” As she gripped the wire and tried to bend it to her will, she said, she found herself thinking about Kaahliq the whole time. And she suggested that the artists offer workshops to at-risk girls and women in MIC programs. The intense concentration required to work the wire has a meditative and therapeutic effect, said Kimberly Mehler, one of the MamaCITA artists. “Art can move you through your emotions in two ways,” Mehler said. “It can help you feel them and express them, or it can help you get away from them when you need a break from your grief.” MamaCITA – Mothers’ Cooperative in the Arts – bought supplies and put the exhibit together with $5,000 from the Leeway Foundation for Art and Change Grants and a good deal from American Wire, a local supplier of wire normally used for wrapping shipping pallets, said Janice Hayes-Cha, who helped organize the project. “Wire is gratifying to work with,” she said. “It’s flexible, but it has a will of its own. You can try to wrestle it into ashape, but ultimately, you just have to go with it.” An apt metaphor for any parent trying to shape a child’s future, she noted. The vessels, Hayes-Cha said, “are just skeletons of people who aren’t here anymore. Each is unique. There is noway to make two alike.” They are suspended against walls of translucent white fabric and cast shadows that grow longer as the daylight fades. “The shadows are an important part of the art,” Hayes-Cha said. “They show that the perpetrator and the victim are...

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Collaboration is the basis for anti-violence project, One Year, at the Rotunda

Posted by on Apr 14, 2014 in Press | Comments Off on Collaboration is the basis for anti-violence project, One Year, at the Rotunda

Collaboration is the basis for anti-violence project, One Year, at the Rotunda

From The Artblog, Review by Rachel Heidenry September 16, 2013 —>Rachel’s post delves into a year-long anti-violence project in which artists of MamaCITA collective collaborated with Mothers in Charge to create a project to memorialize the deaths by homicide in Philadelphia in 2012. –the artblog editors——————–> The twisted-wire vessels — 331 of them — are suspended from metal rods, with their shadows projected onto streams of white cloth behind them that cascade to the floor. The vessels’ dark wires create linear journeys of angles, curves, hurdles and loops, manifesting into intricate casings of sculptural form. Three hundred and thirty-one documented homicides took place in Philadelphia in 2012; 331 lives were lost. Three hundred and thirty-one people became a statistic. –Read full review on The Art...

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Images to Soothe, Amy S. Rosenberg

Posted by on Apr 9, 2014 in Press | Comments Off on Images to Soothe, Amy S. Rosenberg

Philadelphia Inquirer, September 28, 2012
Amy S. Rosenberg: “Images to Soothe”.
Article about the MamaCita collaboration- Beginnings, installed in the new Einstein Montgomery Hospital.

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Honoring Each Victim, Yowei Shaw

Posted by on Apr 8, 2014 in Press | Comments Off on Honoring Each Victim, Yowei Shaw

Honoring Each Victim, Yowei Shaw

BrendasHandsWHYY- NewWorks
Yowei Shaw: “Honoring each Philadelphia homicide victim with art”.
Radio interview with MamaCita members of the Leeway Art and Change Grant project- One Year.

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Press Archives

Posted by on Apr 8, 2014 in Press | Comments Off on Press Archives

Liberty City Press
Vessels Carry Message Article by Shiela Simmons, January 15, 2013

97.5 Ben FM
Woman of the Week with Marilyn Russell. Interview with MamaCITA members Michelle Carlo-Hayes and Heather Knopf discussing the Miss Representation screening and Represent Art exhibit.

PHL17- Eye Opener
The “One Year” art installation. An interview with Lauren Intindoli of PHL17/WPHL. Aired January 8, 2013.

NewsWorks.org
Maleka Fruean: “Artists continue their work memorializing every Philadelphia homicide victim of 2012”. Continuing coverage by WHYY of the One Year art installation. December 2012

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