Written By Eliza Wick
Saturday, March 24th marks the opening of the exhibition “mother / moth·er / məT͟Hər/ at Percolate Gallery within the fluid space of Percolate Art Space, Gallery and Creative Laboratory. As the name implies, Percolate is not your typical display space, but rather a “community art space” that exists to foster creativity in Wilkinsburg and Pittsburgh. Curated by gallery director and owner Carolyn Pierotti, this 32-artist-exhibition was created to explore the basic definition of mother and capture the varying intrinsic and emotional weight the word carries for each child and mother. This exhibition built around the word mother seems suitably displayed in Percolate, a creative space that simultaneously feels like a maternalistic space for the community it seeks to serve.
Local artist Maura O’Connor interestingly found out about this exhibition through Craigslist and solidified her decision to participate in the show after learning that Percolate Gallery will be collecting much-needed donations for mothers of Western Pennsylvania. Diapers, baby wipes, and diaper ointment will be collected in conjunction with Global Links, a program that supports local organizations that are working to help communities and families in need.
Her striking work title Structurally Sound (at right), oil on un-stretched canvas, is a painting of her mother. Nineteen-year-old O’Connor explains that she is one of four siblings and despite the chaos that comes along with that, her mother “has always been strong and composed. I hope to be like her someday”. The composure and strength that O’Connor describes in her mother is certainly delivered in the unyielding stare and sure posture of her mother’s portrait. O’Connor describes her mother as neither delicate [nor] meek, but loud and strong” and asserts “mothers are not meant to be seen as silent vessels, but powerful creators.”
Participating artists: Olena Abakumova, Hannah Altman, Lisa Ash, Leslie Baldwin, Di-at Battad, Ruthanne Bauerle, Sara Beck Sweeney, Crystal Berry, Aimee Bungard, Gabrielle Burke, Jean Davis, Cheryl Dennis, Jennifer Dinovitz, Destiny Eames, Gerry Florida, Bonnie Gloris, Gina Judy, Lori Kashellack, Yelena Kukharenko, Caldwell Linker, Maria Mangano, Mary B.Mason, Shalini Mitra, Jackie Moreno, Maura O’Connor, Marian Philips, Dawn Pogany, Dafna Rehavia, Karly Takach, Sam Thorp, Colleen Tittiger, and Tina Walker