Care and Feeding: The Art of Parenthood


Care and Feeding: The Art of Parenthood


Palo Alto

Curatorial Statement

This exhibition explores the unique questions artists face, from both internal and external forces, when they become parents. It is our challenge to the once pervasive conception that artists cannot be dedicated to their creative work while raising a family.

Any type of generalization in reference to parenthood is problematic. The emotions, circumstances, challenges, and benefits involved are far too complex. What we can speak to, and what we hope this exhibition highlights, is the mosaic of issues and opportunities that arise for artists when they become parents, and the intimate, poignant, and illuminating work which results.

Artists often feel as if they are what they create. When what is created is a child, however, a paradoxical and staggering loss of self can result. Less time in the studio, less time alone, the pressures of domesticity—all of these can contribute to a dramatic re-consideration of what it means to be creative. Using humor and often including his children in his work, Alberto Aguilar has gracefully found ways to blend his home life with his art practice. Children have a marvelous ability to touch everything, and parents have an innate capacity to receive their children into their lives completely. For artists Lenka Clayton and Rebecca Silberman, documenting this process of integration is their vehicle for expression.

There are subtle ways the art world remains difficult for artists who have children. Very few residencies allow artists to bring their partners and children along, and those that do are highly competitive. These artists are often overlooked for opportunities because it is assumed they will not have the time. And the reduction in creative output that often accompanies having children can be interpreted as a failure to thrive by peers.

But artists are not the only ones who face challenges when it comes to navigating a professional life while maintaining a healthy sense of self. Realizing the right balance, and finding strength within it, is a universal endeavor. Whether we are parents or not, we can all find inspiration in the union of personal and professional, intimate and formal, that these works of art represent.


Pilar Aguero-Esparza
Tara Donovan
Lezley Saar
Tabitha Soren
Jeremiah Jenkins
Hilary Pecis
Manjari Sharma
Irina Rozovsky
Josephine Taylor
Rania Matar
Claudette Schreuders


September 15—December 30, 2018



“Care and Feeding: The Art of Parenthood,” Artist Parent Index , accessed June 18, 2024,

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