Sarah Irvin received her Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of Georgia in 2008 and a Masters of Fines Arts at the George Mason University in 2016. After graduating, Irvin attended the Summer Studio Program at Virginia Commonwealth University. For three years, she worked for the Capital One Corporate Art Program, organizing rotating exhibits and acquiring works for the permanent collection in corporate offices across the US and in Canada. She guest curated exhibitions at the Page Bond Gallery, Linda Matney Gallery, Olly Olly and at Northern Virginia Community College. Most recently, she was the Art Editor for So to Speak: A Feminist Journal of Language and Art and the Graduate Professional Assistant for the Fenwick Gallery at George Mason University. She has participated in numerous group exhibitions including the New Waves Exhibit at the Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art. Her work has been exhibited in solo exhibitions in spaces such as Kathryn Markel Fine Arts, Atlanta Botanical Garden and the Page Bond Gallery. She is included in collections including the Federal Reserve Bank, Capital One, The University of Richmond, Try-Me Urban Restoration Project, Center for Gifted Studies at Western Kentucky University and Quirk Hotel.
My artistic practice focuses on the lived experience of motherhood as the primary point of departure. This text details my decision making process in the creation and display of the artwork included in my Master of Fine Arts Thesis Exhibit, A Bringing Forth, at George Mason University in March 2016. I recount the ways my studio practice was formed specifically by the experience of pregnancy, birth and caretaking and the ways in which the practice has enabled and supported these experiences. A Bringing Forth included drawings, paintings, sculptures, video art and an annotated prose poem created as auto-ethnographic work focusing on acts of care performed during my daughter’s first year. The social, cultural, economic, and biological circumstances that influenced this personal experience and the ways these concepts are represented through the art objects and exhibition decisions are detailed in this article.
Mother Making: Artistic Practice and the Formation of a Mother