50 episodes

The Artist/Mother podcast interviews incredible working Artists who are also Mothers, inviting them to share from their experiences as they make art and mother their children. We hope these interviews inspire you to dedicate time, passion, and energy to your art practice while simultaneously being the best parent you can be.

Artist/Mother Podcast Kaylan Buteyn

    • Visual Arts

The Artist/Mother podcast interviews incredible working Artists who are also Mothers, inviting them to share from their experiences as they make art and mother their children. We hope these interviews inspire you to dedicate time, passion, and energy to your art practice while simultaneously being the best parent you can be.

    54: Mandi Antonucci: high school art teacher by day, artist at night

    54: Mandi Antonucci: high school art teacher by day, artist at night

    It was great to talk to Mandi Antonucci, another New Yorker, artist/mother, and collegiate soccer player! Mandi is a mom of two who balances being a high school art teacher by day with being an artist at night. Mandi works primarily in colored pencil, watercolor, and ballpoint pen, though she’s never been one to sit still or limit herself to a given medium. Her work is loaded with personal symbolism and open-ended narratives that construct layers of meaning viewers can engage with on their own terms.



    Mandi talks about being immersed in art and art history from a young age, and how this led to her studying art history and printmaking at Nazareth College. Shortly thereafter, she became an art teacher and hasn’t looked back. She draws on her students to explore new media and find inspiration, while, as a working artist herself, she hopes to lead her students by example in demonstrating the power of art.



    We discuss building a life full of love, art, and music, even while working through familial hardship. Mandi walks us through turning towards an art practice that “feeds her soul” and illuminates (if not revels in) the hidden contradictions of everyday life, and her ongoing projects of building self confidence and continuing to fight imposter syndrome even once you’ve become established in your own community.



    Lastly, we return to the idea of legacy, the question of who came before and who will come after, to hear more about Mandi’s grandmother and the role of storied objects in tracing the passions and experiences of others.



    You can see more of Mandi’s work on her website.The Artist/Mother podcast is created and hosted by Kaylan Buteyn. You can see more of Kaylan’s work on her website or connect with her on Instagram @kaylanbuteyn



    Mandi in her home studio



    “Quicksand” Colored Pencil and Gold Leaf, 2019



    Work in progress in Mandi’s studio (her son drawing on left)



    Works in progress in Mandi’s studio



    “Greta Thunberg, (from Heroes for Her series)”, Ballpoint Pen and Watercolor, 2019  



    Mandi’s “Heroes For Her” series above her daughter’s bed



    “Falling Into Place” Colored Pencil and Gold Leaf, 2018



    Mandi’s son working along side her studio space

    • 58 min
    53: Moving through water: finding grace in each phase of life with painter Calida Garcia Rawles

    53: Moving through water: finding grace in each phase of life with painter Calida Garcia Rawles

    Image above: Radiating My Sovereignty, 2019, acrylic on canvas 84”x 48″



    I’m grateful that Calida Rawles squeezed me into her busy schedule, because it was really delightful to have her on the podcast! Calida Rawles is a photorealist painter based out of Los Angeles, California, whose work focuses on figures of African Americans abstracted through the ripples (or, as Calida describes it beautifully, the “lens”) of the water in which they are partially submerged. You may recognize her work from the cover of Ta-Nehisi Coates’ debut novel, The Water Dancer, but you have to try to see her work in person! The paintings’ larger-than-life scale envelops a viewer in the rhythm of the water. Calida unpacks her work as culturally, poetically, and personally symbolic, and provides us with potent metaphors to live by in the form of “breathing” and “floating”: we have to release tension to avoid sinking.



    We talk about the importance of committed and supportive partnerships, framing children as motivations for instead of obstacles of a creative career, and setting realistic goals for yourself. Being both an artist/mother is all about recognizing your personal limits, learning flexibility, and working efficiently in your dual roles. We know what artist/mothers know, which is that our children can be our own tiny helpers, cheerleaders, and critics, whose presence may be invisible in our work but resonates throughout. That said, Calida expresses the value of slowing down and trying to find time for yourself, too! 



    I’ve learned through talking with Calida that she embodies the mediations embedded in her work — like moving through water, she finds peace through accepting chaos and “going with the flow.”



    You can see more of Calida’s work on her website and her IG @calidagarciarawlesThe Artist/Mother podcast is created and hosted by Kaylan Buteyn. You can see more of Kaylan’s work on her website or connect with her on Instagram @kaylanbuteynCalida has a show opening this week, February 12th, at Various Small Fires in Los Angeles, California. Noted from their press release “VSF is pleased to present A Dream for My Lilith, the gallery’s first solo exhibition with Calida Rawles. Reflecting on topographical matters which shape and hold black life, Rawles merges realism with poetic abstraction through immersive paintings using acrylic on canvas. With this exhibition, Rawles employs water as multifaceted material and space to consider possibilities of womanhood, tranquility, and otherworldliness.”  



    Calida Garcia Rawles



    The Space in Which We Travel, 2019, Acrylic on canvas, 144” x 84”



    Calida working in her studio



    Book cover for The Water Dancer by Ta-Nehisi Coates



    Calida with her daughter Siena working in her studio, around the time she first began painting figures in water



    North & Penn, (for Freddie Gray), 2018, acrylic on canvas, 60″ x 72″



    Calida with her daughter Siena working in her studio, around the time she first began painting figures in water



    Little Swimmer, 2016, acrylic on canvas, 48″ x 60″

    • 51 min
    52: Ready or not? On choosing to be child-free with artist and curator Pam Marlene Taylor

    52: Ready or not? On choosing to be child-free with artist and curator Pam Marlene Taylor

    It was a huge honor to bring artist and curator Pam Marlene Taylor to the Artist/Mother podcast! Pam and I crack open a delicate and vulnerable conversation as we both speak to the very personal decision to have children… or not. Pam (along with her partner) have decided not to have children, and she shares with me the experience of living that decision out- spilling her fears, hopes, and dreams for her life and marriage. She talks about her experience attempting to get her tubes tied and we both share some assumptions we have had about each other– me as a woman with kids assuming things about child-free women and vice versa. Pam talks about the ways care-taking and mothering are intrinsically woven into her being, regardless of her decision to mother children of her own. It was such a pleasure to have a conversation about mothering, cultural taboos, and all the expectations women navigate inside (and outside) the art world with someone who is child-free.



    The idea to have this conversation on the podcast was inspired by a show Pam and I were curated together in opening Feb 8th at Ground Floor Gallery in Nashville, TN by Janet Decker Yanez. Below is an excerpt from the press release: Mother or (K)not is an exhibition of two women artists, with opposite paths of adulthood whose work converge on the playground of fine art making. Playing off of the adage “ready or not,” which is often associated with the age-old question, “am I ready for kids,” Mother or (K)not embraces both answers to that question with the works of Kaylan Buteyn and Pam Marlene Taylor. Motherhood is a no-brainer for some but for others it can be a difficult, very personal and sometimes costly decision. It can be especially hard to decide, and live with your decision, in the art world where the prevailing sentiment is not to have children if a woman wants an art career, or to limit kids to just one.



    The Mother or (K)not exhibition’s intention is not to pit one against the other, but rather to tie their paintings and fiber arts together in an all-inclusive way. This show is in celebration of the choice we have of who we are and what we want to become, and those are choices not to be set by social norms, doctor’s orders or male influence. Margret Sanger, American birth control activist, sex educator, writer, and nurse, put it best when she said, “no woman can call herself free until she can choose consciously whether she will or will not be a mother.”If you are local, come see our show! Opens Feb 8th, 2020.











    Detail shot: You’ll Change Your Mind When All Your Friends Start Having Babies4 feet wide x 9 feet tall, sewn tubes, raffia, roving, cotton yarn, cotton thread, dowel, 2019



    Pam working



    You’ll Change Your Mind When All Your Friends Start Having Babies4 feet wide x 9 feet tall, sewn tubes, raffia, roving, cotton yarn, cotton thread, dowel, 2019



    Artist Pam Taylor and her husband Marcus



    Curated by Pam Taylor– Dinner’s Ready at Gallery Bang BangFeaturing Pia Pack, Ellen Dempsey, Dana Robinson, Janet Decker Yanez, and Quinn Hunter. Pia was on the Artist/Mother podcast episode 39 here







    It was such a pleasure to bring on artist and curator, Janet Decker Yanez to speak with Pam and I at the close of our episode. Janet is a process-oriented, socially engaged artist. She works with materials that she has in excess and on hand. She visually documents shared space, time, memories and experiences with media from fabrics to found objects. In her studio she cycles through different series, and for the last 7 years has been using food coloring and unconventional spray-painting methods on a variety of surfaces. In 2012, she founded Ground Floor Gallery + Studios, in the Wedgewood/Houston neighborhood, which operates as a non-commercial gallery and studio collective that curates varied contemporary exhibi

    • 1 hr 39 min
    51: Painting the world you want to see with South African-American artist Thenjiwe Nkosi

    51: Painting the world you want to see with South African-American artist Thenjiwe Nkosi

    I was thrilled to talk with Thenjiwe Nkosi, a multimedia artist based out of Johannesburg, South Africa, for this episode. We talk about working with (and around) toddlers, the generative powers of a creative hiatus, and managing life’s surprises as both an artist and a mother.



    Thenjiwe walks me through her trajectory, emphasizing the importance of nurturing creativity and art in early education, which Thenjiwe attributes to her childhood experiences in a Waldorf school. She then carried out her undergraduate work at Harvard, where she was heavily invested in social studies and social justice, and completed her MFA at the School of Visual Arts. Though she has always been a maker and a doer (she compulsively made art as a teen and practiced martial arts for years!), Thenjiwe is enjoying her recent shift to full-time artist. We talk creative cycles, returning to old work to give it new life, and Thenjiwe’s transition from video work to painting. 



    Whereas the art world tends to underestimate the capacity of painting to serve as social practice art, Thenjiwe has proved that her painting can spark change. She remains committed to “painting the world [she] wanted to see” and portraying black bodies in spheres where they are underrepresented — and where their artistry is often overlooked. While Thenjiwe turned to experimental documentary work while in university, she recently returned to painting black gymnasts, a project she paused about five years ago. 



    We also confront the challenges of placemaking as an artist (akin to those discussed in last week’s episode). Navigating physical, social, and emotional distance from the art world is a lot of work — especially when institutions choose to make assumptions about the needs of artist/mothers. We discuss the power we have as individuals to build more inclusive environments in the art world for artist/mothers and artist/parents at large while also developing intergenerational legacies of care that span place and practice.



    Lastly, Thenjiwe’s words of wisdom for fellow artist/mothers? Never forget to be kind to yourself.



    You can see more of Thenjiwe’s work on her website and her IG @thenjiwe_niki_nkosi.The Artist/Mother podcast is created and hosted by Kaylan Buteyn. You can see more of Kaylan’s work on her website or connect with her on Instagram @kaylanbuteyn



    Thenjiwe’s daughter in her studio



    “Evaluation”, 1,000 x 1,500mm, oil on canvas, 2019



    Thenjiwe working in her studio, credit Nina Lieska



    Thenjiwe’s studio and work in progress







    “Evaluation”, 1,480 x 1,000mm, oil on canvas, 2019







    Legote (After Grace Matsetsa Legote), 50 x 50cm, oil on canvas, 2018



    Thenjiwe and her daughter painting at The Africa Center, credit Transcendent Enterprise



    “Execution”, 1,000 x 1,500mm, oil on canvas, 2019



    Okino (After Betty Okino) 50 x 50cm, oil on canvas, 2018

    • 1 hr 3 min
    50: Building tangible community in your neighborhood with Amy Soczka, Megan Woodard Johnson and Mindy Wittock

    50: Building tangible community in your neighborhood with Amy Soczka, Megan Woodard Johnson and Mindy Wittock

    In today’s episode, I talk with three amazing women from outside of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, about the power of Instagram to connect like-minded artist/mothers, opening yourself to community, and claiming space and time for your art even in the clutter and compromise of family life.  



    While these women came together through social media, they bonded through making work that stood out from that of their peers. Amy, Mindy, and Megan discuss the value of finding mutual understanding among other artist/mothers. Being both an artist and a mother can be isolating, so finding supportive community is crucial to making sure both parts of your life — in tandem — are sustainable and healthy. 



    If Artist/Mother has taught me one thing, it’s that if you can’t find a suitable platform for your community, build it! Amy, Mindy, and Megan have done the same through sharing experience, motivation, and space together while forging new opportunities to grow as both an artist and a person. They discuss navigating local and larger art scenes, fighting self doubt, and encouraging each other to go out to gallery shows (or validating the choice to stay in!), They also talk about the value of committing to take the time to do studio visits, co-work, or sometimes even just get coffee and catching up.



    Amy, Mindy, and Megan’s advice for crafting community? Take the plunge to reach out to people you admire or whose work resonates with yours in pursuit of continuing to create collective, collaborative knowledge about artist-mothering! Show up for others and hope they’ll return the favor — get involved! Lastly, be true to yourself, your work, and your goals, and seek the same out in your creative connections. Please check out more from these amazing women on their websites and IG pages! Megan Woodard Johnson @meganwoodardjohnsonartAmy Soczka @amysoczkaMindy Wittock @mindymaker



    The Artist/Mother podcast is created and hosted by Kaylan Buteyn. You can see more of Kaylan’s work on her website or connect with her on Instagram @kaylanbuteyn



    Mindy, Amy and Megan working at a local coffee shop



    Painting by Amy Soczka



    Amy in her studio



    Sacred Textile by Mindy Wittock: New Kids on the Block Sleeping Bag, Hand Cut Felt Dots, Thread Year: 2018



    Mindy in studio with her children



    Megan working in her studio



    Painting by Megan- Right Where You Left It: mixed media on panel, completed January 2020

    • 59 min
    49: Interlacing threads: immigration, legacy and family history with Karen Dana

    49: Interlacing threads: immigration, legacy and family history with Karen Dana

    I’m so pleased to share the first Artist/Mother interview of 2020 with you all! This episode features Karen Dana, one of the winners from the 2019 Artist/Mother open call (you can see her polyptych here!). I had the opportunity to connect with Dana at the Artist/Mother meetup in Chicago (where she is currently based), and I was thrilled to get to continue our conversation on the podcast. 



    Karen Dana received a BFA from the National Institute of Fine Arts in Mexico City and an MFA from Hunter College in New York City. In the last couple of years, Karen had her third child and relocated from New York to Chicago, where she is a BOLT resident with the Chicago Artists Coalition for 2019-2020. While Karen works primarily in painting, her work is informed by a variety of media including performance, dance, and collage. The role of gesture in such practices is “translated” by Karen to the canvas, as is a sense of movement — be it at the level of the individual body, between bodies, or across borders.



    In this episode, Karen and I discuss the roles of identity, narrative, and community in being an artist/mother. She probes the grey areas of experience, identity, and the function of art while both generating and reconstructing intergenerational familial knowledge in her art. Karen talks about the importance of visual and material cultures in the legacies of her family’s identity — from her grandparents, whose oral histories Karen and her siblings recorded in a notebook, to her three children, whose creations continue to inspire Karen’s own. Additionally, we confront the complications of making art today, as art and the experiences that drive it are threatened in different ways by the contemporary American political climate. Nonetheless, we agree that art remains an important conduit for curiosity, growth, and knowledge.



    Please check out more of Karen’s work on Instagram @karendanas or on her website. 



    The Artist/Mother podcast is created and hosted by Kaylan Buteyn. You can see more of Kaylan’s work on her website or connect with her on Instagram @kaylanbuteyn











    “The border between us is made out of thread”, 156” X 60”, Oil on Canvas, 2018 



    “A state of exile”, 28” X 22”, Oil on Canvas, 2018



    “A state of being”, 24” X 14”, Oil on Printed Canvas, 2018



    “There is a transplanted gathering in between my steps”, 72” X 60”, Oil on Canvas, 2018

    • 53 min

Customer Reviews

HYip76 ,

So very generous!

This podcast is ultimately the bedrock of a growing community of artist/mothers created and supported by the host Kaylan Buteyn. I am in awe of the steps she has taken to create generative support for all the mother/artists out there no matter where you are located on this beautiful planet. Kaylen has leveraged technology to positively grow and benefit the whole community. I also highly recommend the Crit groups which I have recently joined.

Thank you Kaylan, from the bottom of my heart this is a gift to us all!

lobiart ,

Companionship

This is the only podcast I listen to. It’s my companionship when I’m frantically making art while my kid sleeps and it’s my dose of adult/mom connection when I’m playing cars with my babe in the middle of rural prairie life. Very grateful for this podcast- keep it up!

birdgirlarts ,

My favourite thing to listen to!

I can’t even begin to thank you enough for the work you are doing making this podcast. It is a joy and a place of rest for me! The artist/mother podcast is incredibly rich in its ability to satisfy my desire and curiosity over other artists and their practices. Kaylan brokers these invitations to investigate an artist, and having never viewed their works before, allows for my imagination to run wild with thoughts of process and production. It always leaves me wanting more and scurrying back to the studio. Amazing female content, whether you’re a mama or not!

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