Through visual 2D and 3D art, Dear Mama is a traveling exhibit designed to bring attention to issues impacting Black motherhood including alarmingly high rates of maternal and infant mortality and pregnancy-‐related complications.
This is a group thematic exhibition to display work in a variety of mediums with representation of pregnancy and motherhood as seen through the eyes of emerging artists of African descent. The exhibition will be brought to life with a reception to include poetry and essay readings, songs and performance art.
Our first gallery was scheduled for April 2020 but as with many events, it was postponed due to the pandemic. Please stay tuned as we coordinate virtual events to highlight these very important issues.
The exhibition is a passion project launched by two former law school classmates and artists, Kamilah House and Faye McCray. The women are mothers whose own struggles led them to create this exhibition to honor women who have lost their lives or bear deep scars due to pregnancy-‐related complications.
The aim of this exhibition is to create for the viewer emotional resonance as well as understanding of the health disparities impacting women of color. Such disparities include:
The United States has the worst maternal death rates in the developed world, at 18 death per 100,000 live births.
The maternal mortality rate is alarmingly higher among black women, at 40 deaths per 100,000 live births.
Black women are nearly four times more like than white women – and more than twice as likely as women on other races – to die from preventable, pregnancy-‐related complications.
Black women also experience higher rates of maternal complications and infant mortality.
They are twice as likely to lose an infant to premature death, and these disparities have not improved for more than 30 years.
In 2019, Congresswomen Alma Adams (NC -‐12) and Lauren Underwood (IL-‐14) launched the Black Maternal Health Caucus to improve black maternal health outcomes. 1
Although we would like this to be a FREE event. We would like to encourage donations to an organization committed to raising awareness about Black maternal and infant mortality rates and pregnancy related complications. Likewise, we will encourage our artists to donate a portion of art sales to that organization.
Kamilah House is an emerging artist working in both oil and acrylic. She often employs bold color and dramatic brushstrokes to express social and political issues through both figurative and abstract art. Her work is informed by her career as an attorney, her love for current events, background in international studies and politics and her experience growing up as a Bahamian/African American diplomat brat throughout the developing world.
You can find Kamilah on IG @kohouseart.
Faye McCray is an author and essayist whose poetry and essays have been featured in the HuffPost, AARP Magazine, Little Patuxent Review, For Harriet, Madame Noire, Black Girl Nerds, and other popular publications. She is the Editor in Chief and co-founder of Weemagine. Faye’s most recent work, I Am Loved!, is a collection of positive affirmations for children. By day, Faye is an attorney and married mother of three boys. She is also a Master’s in Writing candidate at Johns Hopkins University.
You can find Faye on Twitter and FB @fayewrites and on IG @heyfayemccray.