Thirty years after the Guerrilla Girls, women continue to face inequities in the art world. Women earn more than half of the MFAs granted in the US(1), but hold 37.5% of tenured positions, with minority women holding under 5% of tenure-track positions (2). In 2014, ArtForum reported that of 4,000 artists represented in L.A. and New York, only 32.3% were women (3).
The difficulty of establishing or maintaining a career while also raising children is central to issues of gender inequity in the art world (4). Women continue to spend on average twice as long as men physically caring for children under six (5). In 2014, among tenured art faculty, only 44% of women were married with children, compared to 70% of men (6).
Women in ceramics are not immune to the social and cultural challenges of being an artist and mother. This is particularly the case since talking about motherhood specifically has been stigmatized in the art world. Many women in art find that motherhood has been pre-defined in an all-or-nothing, children-versus-art context (7). In order to address the social, structural and cultural inequities that underly such gender disparity, it is essential that the clay community provide a platform to discuss the intersection of motherhood, artistic career, studio practice, class, LBGT issues, race, economics and family structure.
The following resource list was compiled for a panel discussion examining the professional and artistic reality of being a mother and ceramics artist at the 2017 National Counsel of Eduction in the Ceramic Arts in Portland, Oregon. The panelists included Sara Parent-Ramos, Eva Kwong, Teruko Nimura and Jeanine Hill.
Articles/Podcasts/Movies Concerning Mother/Artists
Articles Concerning Paid Family Leave
Make your Voice Heard on paid family leave!
Family Friendly Residencies
Organizations Supporting Women
1) Saltz, Brainstormers Research, Village Voice, September 21, 2006.
2/6) MFA Degree Average Salaries, PayScale: Human Capital, 2014. - See more at:
3) Reilly, “Taking the Measure of Sexism: Facts, Figures, and Fixes,” ARTnews, May 26, 2015.
4) Urist, “Why can’t great artists be mothers,” New York Times, May, 21, 2015.
4) Tanner-Boll, “Who Dose She Think She Is,” 2013.
7) Alboher, Artist/Mother, an Uneasy Marriage, Shifting Careers, October 14, 2008.