‘The Nitty-Gritty of Motherhood’ on Display in New Norwalk Exhibit
A new exhibit from Korry Fellow Sarah King, which captures everyday moments of motherhood through a variety of mediums, is on display at The Norwalk Art Space until December 8.
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The moments that don’t stand out, the moments that don’t make social media, the moments that happen everyday—that was what artist Sarah King set out to capture in her new exhibit at The Norwalk Art Space.
“I wanted to kind of capture the in-between parts of life, the things you don’t really see on Instagram, the kind of nitty-gritty of motherhood that I feel is often overlooked and not celebrated,” King said at the opening reception on Thursday, October 20.
King, a painter, sculptor, and illustrator, curated the exhibit which features her own work, along with pieces from artists Maryna Bilak and Judy Glantzman. She is one of four 2022-23 Korry Fellows at the Art Space, which is named after the founder, Alexandra Davern Korry, who passed away in 2020.
The exhibit features images that capture the everyday moments of life—from pandemic haircuts to brothers playing, mothers feeding their children to cuddling a new baby.
King said she poured herself into the pieces as a way to handle the emotions and challenges of motherhood.
“I just started painting—and I really dedicated over a year of my life to just painting, just painting for me and painting my voice and what I was going through and how I was feeling and just trying to capture that because I felt it was important to do for myself and for my children and my family,” she said.
Throughout it all, her children have served as her muses.
“I’m constantly inspired by my children because they’re constantly growing and changing and just when I feel like I have a routine figured out, it changes,” she said. “Everything changes.”
They’ve also collaborated with her on a few pieces, including one that features a bright rainbow, but with some black paint creeping in, which she described as channeling her anxiety about some of those changes into her work.
Bilak said that her daughter has also served as an inspiration for her work.
“Life was changing and my child entered the studio and she made her first artwork and that was such an inspiration,” she said. For example, the crayon drawings were inspired by my daughter because I never used crayons before so I joke around saying that I not just was inspired, I plagiarized my child.”
One of the themes that both King and Bilak wanted to highlight through this exhibit was that parents, particularly mothers, weren’t alone.
“I also want to speak to, especially the mothers out there or the parents out there, that have really been in it and to know that they’re not alone and to know that this is an experience that’s valuable,” King said.
One of Bilak’s pieces—and one of the largest in the exhibit—called “The Seed,” aims to emphasize the village it takes to raise a child.
“I literally opened the door to my studio and invited [people] to participate and share their knowledge—what it is to raise a child?” she said. “I told people to bring whatever it is you associate with raising a child. People donated their songs, personal items, lots of drawings made by children.”
Bilak took the pieces and covered them with bright designs to mold them into a seed shape.
“I call it ‘[The] Seed,’ because it’s like the seed of knowledge—when you have it in your hand, you don’t know what’s going to grow out of it, so it’s for me that knowledge that we put into our child in order to flourish,” she said.
King said that her pieces showcase some of the “nitty-gritty” moments she went through—and still is going through—as a mother and hopes that others can relate.
“I really wanted to get into that—I hadn’t dealt with postpartum depression and anxiety and I really, really wanted to work through that,” she said.
The opening reception also featured a reading from author Nikkya Hargrove who also dove into the topic of trying to be both a creative and a mother.
“Over the years, I was worried there was no way I could be both a mother and a writer and do either well,” she said. “I wanted all of it.”
She said that the exhibit “brings us closer to a place of acceptance” as both a mother and an artist.
“Standing in front of their work, we are in a place where we can see ourselves and our journeys reflected,” Hargrove said.
As a part of being a Korry Fellow, King will host multiple events—in addition to her exhibit being on display through December 8.
The events include:
- Thursday, Nov. 3 at 6 p.m. “Curated Night with Sarah King.” Attendees can draw, take part in a yoga class, or just observe the creativity in the space.
- Saturday, Nov. 5 at 10 a.m. “College Portfolio Review with Sarah King and Joseph Fucigna.” Prospective college students are invited to learn from King and Fucigna about what goes into creating a portfolio, do’s and don’ts, and more.
- Thursday, Nov. 17 at 5 p.m. “Queer and Questioning.” This event features a panel discussion and is presented by Stamford’s Kids in Crisis/Lighthouse and Norwalk’s Triangle Community Center.
- Sunday, Nov. 20 at 3 p.m. “Artist Talk with Sarah King.” King will be joined by David Green, executive director of the Cultural Alliance of Fairfield County to discuss the exhibit.
Editor's Note: The title of the exhibit has been changed at the request of The Norwalk Art Space.