This week, artists Haimy Assefa, Nakeya Brown, Koyoltzintli, and Andria Lo have been named as the 2023 Art Mamas x STONELEAF Residency recipients. Now in its second year, the group and family residencies offer parents in the arts an unrestricted stipend and a week at STONELEAF in Upstate New York to work on their practice, connect with other artists, and much-needed time and space.
Assefa, Brown, and Lo will participate in the Group Residency this summer, and Koyoltzintli will take part in the Family Residency, chosen from over 180 applications. The overwhelming interest in this residency showcases that spaces like STONELEAF are essential in supporting artist parents.
“The Art Mamas Residencies at STONELEAF are a necessity! Coming back again for a second year means another group of incredible artists gets vital time and space—to make, to think, to connect, to exist. It means more visibility for artist parents and their needs,” said Art Mamas co-founders Helen Toomer and Katy Donoghue. Art Mamas is a member-driven supportive community for parents in the arts, created in 2019.
Toomer co-founded STONELEAF in 2017 along with her husband, Eric Romano. Since then, they’ve hosted and provided studio space to 44 woman-identifying artists, including 12 alumnae and nine Family Residencies. Its commitment to supporting artists with families has resulted in the establishment of the Baxter St Family Residency, the Peggy Toomer Family Residency, as well as Art Mamas x STONELEAF—all out of a vision to provide a resource for parents trying to balance raising a family with their creative practice. “While the traditional residency model of escaping to a bucolic environment to singularly focus on artistic practice can be a well-intentioned dream, for most artists who are also mothers, leaving family behind is often not an option,” said Baxter St President Michi Jigarjian. “The Baxter St Family Residency is intended to drive home the notion that motherhood and artistic practice do not have to be mutually exclusive.”
The 2023 Art Mamas x STONELEAF residency follows a successful inaugural edition with artists Aisha Tandiwe Bell, Lucia Cuba, Lehna Huie, and Joetta Maue, and is made possible by Art Mamas membership dues, application fees, individual donors, and a partnership with the Sustainable Arts Foundation. “We wish we could do more, as there is such a shortage of residencies that support artist parents. We are so proud to be working with and very grateful to The Sustainable Arts Foundation who have provided stipends for Art Mamas x STONELEAF group residency, enabling us to increase our financial support of artists with children,” said Donoghue and Toomer.