Hyperallergic: Artist Residencies Need to Start Thinking About Parents
6 October 2020
In hell’s innermost circle, exhausted parents search eternally for tiny Lego pieces needed to complete rocket ships, houses, and robots. This particular corner of Hades has been my home since the arrival of COVID-19. While artists without children post images of themselves making more work than ever, I and other artist parents I know are struggling to find time and energy for the studio at night, or working on the kitchen table while keeping an eye on the kids, or making no work at all.
Like all primary caregivers, since March I have simultaneously run a home school, a restaurant, and a hyperactive playground that occasionally becomes a boxing ring. The coronavirus challenges the canard that art (and all work) requires a devotion incompatible with family life. The virus also demolishes the corollary: that raising children requires the sacrifice of all else. With the quarantine’s interruption of virtually all forms of childcare and education, we acknowledge as never before that professional work must be somehow integrated with family life.
Artist-parents have always faced unique challenges. Art careers are forged in an informal economy where personal networks generate opportunities for exhibitions and introductions to curators, collectors, and other important players. It can be of major importance to be present at the right parties and openings, and to build relationships with other artists by visiting their studios. But for people with young children, it has always been a problem to attend openings that primarily occurred at night, and now, without schools or daycare, it requires new levels of innovation to make any art at all. The problems of working at home with children are now faced by parents in virtually every industry.
Read the full article on Hyperallergic.
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