Northwest artists Nikki McClure, Liz Haley and Sophia Pfaff-Shalmiyev are the featured artists presented in The Motherhood Show exhibited through the May at the Cannon Beach Gallery. The Motherhood Show highlights the dynamic artistic abilities of the three women who all have ties to the DIY (do-it-yourself) art movement of Olympia, Washington. A celebration of the ultimate act of creation, the Motherhood Show is also an exploration of how women continue to develop their careers as artists after having children.
In celebration of this exhibit, art patrons are encouraged to come into the gallery during the month of May and ask for the “Mother’s Discount,” which is 10% off of any purchase for anyone with a mother (that should cover you, dear reader).
The most well known artist of the group, Nikki McClure, creates intricate paper-cut illustrations that celebrate the grace of everyday domestic scenes and nature. McClure’s work appears nationally in books, an annual calendar, cards and posters. McClure will be showing 14 original paper-cuts in the Motherhood Show.
A recent transplant to Cannon Beach, Oregon; Sophia Pfaff-Shalmiyev has quickly become involved in the northern Oregon Coast’s burgeoning art scene. An active gallery docent at the Cannon Beach Gallery, Pfaff-Shalmiyev has been in many of the galleries recent juried shows. She is also a member of Astoria’s Lightbox Photographic, where she has been doing the majority of her darkroom work for her “Your Love Will Break My Heart,” series of autobiographical photographs, writing, and mixed media works.
A self described, “bicoastal feminist artist,” Pfaff-Shalmiyev calls New York City home as well as Cannon Beach, Oregon. Born in Russia in 1978, Pfaff-Shalmiyev immigrated to New York City in 1990 and then attended college at the Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington. In Olympia, she deepened her interest in feminist politics and art, joined bands, wrote fanzines and curated art shows that explored the validity of confessional and confrontational narrative.
“Expected to hide our disappointment, and unable to name the void that aspects of mothering can create in other parts of our lives, the artist asks herself if “things” have gotten “better” for women, “ Pfaff-Shalmiyev explained.
“The friendships and the body you remember are gone, but somehow no amount of humiliation and alienation could make the tugs on your heartstrings feel any less magical,” continued Pfaff-Shalmiyev.
Inspired by the many women she has met since moving to Cannon Beach, Pfaff-Shalmiyev aims to capture the ecstatic joy and the humbling vulnerability explored in her images for the Motherhood Show.
Another recent transplant to the coast, Liz Haley is living in Seaside, Oregon with her young family. Born as the youngest of six children in 1972, Haley is equally inspired by the concepts of community and escape. An artist, filmmaker, musician and curator, Haley’s work has been widely exhibited, including at the Anthology of Film Archive, New York; the Miami Museum of Contemporary Art, and the Center of Contemporary Art, Seattle. In 2005, she co-founded Valentines, an art, music and performance space in Old Town, Portland, Oregon.
The Cannon Beach Gallery is located at 1064 S. Hemlock St. 503-436-0744 or go to www.cannonbeacharts.org.