There is no shortage of participation and enthusiasm for the The Feminist Art Project Day of Panels at CAA. Under the title The M Word, the theme of the panels is the representation of the maternal in art and visual culture. Faculty member Miriam Schaer is presenting, staff member Jessica Cochran is chairing a session, and student Alex Borgen is coordinating support services for the panels.
Schaer became involved through a series of fortunate events that began by purchasing a book for her research, The M Word: Real Mothers in Contemporary Art, edited by Myrel Chernick and Jennie Klein. As luck would have it at the last CAA conference, she met Klein while waiting in line for lunch, and they spoke of Schaer’s work, which Klein was familiar with. She invited Schaer to send an abstract for this year’s conference. Schaer will be presenting her work The Presence of Their Absence, which explores “the disparagement of childlessness and childless women by the maternal establishment, a reigning cultural norm in virtually every country and historical era.” The panel, From Sentiment to Sexuality: Revisiting the Maternal Body as Threat, chaired by Natlaie Loveless, is meeting from 12:40 p.m. – 2:00 p.m. on Saturday, February 15, is free and open to the public. Says Schaer, “I was honored to be included in Natalie Loveless’s panel, and am looking forward to everyone’s presentations.”
Because Schaer knew they were looking for a Chicago-based organizer, she asked if Cochran would like to participate as chair of a panel that took on exhibitions and the curator in relation to motherhood. “This is my first involvement with The Feminist Art Project, and I hope its not my last. It’s energizing and so much fun to merge two of my favorite topics—feminism and exhibitions–into one program that features some really smart and talented individuals,” says Cochran. She is chairing Motherhood and the Exhibitionary Platform: Considering the Implications of Maternity Through the Curatorial Lens, which meets from 10:40 am – 12:00 p.m., and is also free and open to the public.
Alex Borgen, a thesis-year Book & Paper student, is coordinating panel support, which includes many students in the program.
No doubt we can all look forward to a day of thought-provoking presentation and discussion at this very important CAA conference event!