52: Ready or not? On choosing to be child-free with artist and curator Pam Marlene Taylor

It was a huge honor to bring artist and curator Pam Marlene Taylor to the Artist/Mother podcast! Pam and I crack open a delicate and vulnerable conversation as we both speak to the very personal decision to have children… or not. Pam (along with her partner) have decided not to have children, and she shares with me the experience of living that decision out- spilling her fears, hopes, and dreams for her life and marriage. She talks about her experience attempting to get her tubes tied and we both share some assumptions we have had about each other– me as a woman with kids assuming things about child-free women and vice versa. Pam talks about the ways care-taking and mothering are intrinsically woven into her being, regardless of her decision to mother children of her own. It was such a pleasure to have a conversation about mothering, cultural taboos, and all the expectations women navigate inside (and outside) the art world with someone who is child-free.

The idea to have this conversation on the podcast was inspired by a show Pam and I were curated together in opening Feb 8th at Ground Floor Gallery in Nashville, TN by Janet Decker Yanez. Below is an excerpt from the press release:

Mother or (K)not is an exhibition of two women artists, with opposite paths of adulthood whose work converge on the playground of fine art making. Playing off of the adage “ready or not,” which is often associated with the age-old question, “am I ready for kids,” Mother or (K)not embraces both answers to that question with the works of Kaylan Buteyn and Pam Marlene Taylor. Motherhood is a no-brainer for some but for others it can be a difficult, very personal and sometimes costly decision. It can be especially hard to decide, and live with your decision, in the art world where the prevailing sentiment is not to have children if a woman wants an art career, or to limit kids to just one.

The Mother or (K)not exhibition’s intention is not to pit one against the other, but rather to tie their paintings and fiber arts together in an all-inclusive way. This show is in celebration of the choice we have of who we are and what we want to become, and those are choices not to be set by social norms, doctor’s orders or male influence. Margret Sanger, American birth control activist, sex educator, writer, and nurse, put it best when she said, “no woman can call herself free until she can choose consciously whether she will or will not be a mother.”

If you are local, come see our show! Opens Feb 8th, 2020.

Detail shot: You’ll Change Your Mind When All Your Friends Start Having Babies
4 feet wide x 9 feet tall, sewn tubes, raffia, roving, cotton yarn, cotton thread, dowel, 2019
Pam working
You’ll Change Your Mind When All Your Friends Start Having Babies
4 feet wide x 9 feet tall, sewn tubes, raffia, roving, cotton yarn, cotton thread, dowel, 2019
Artist Pam Taylor and her husband Marcus
Curated by Pam Taylor– Dinner’s Ready at Gallery Bang Bang
Featuring Pia Pack, Ellen Dempsey, Dana Robinson, Janet Decker Yanez, and Quinn Hunter. Pia was on the Artist/Mother podcast episode 39 here

It was such a pleasure to bring on artist and curator, Janet Decker Yanez to speak with Pam and I at the close of our episode. Janet is a process-oriented, socially engaged artist. She works with materials that she has in excess and on hand. She visually documents shared space, time, memories and experiences with media from fabrics to found objects. In her studio she cycles through different series, and for the last 7 years has been using food coloring and unconventional spray-painting methods on a variety of surfaces. In 2012, she founded Ground Floor Gallery + Studios, in the Wedgewood/Houston neighborhood, which operates as a non-commercial gallery and studio collective that curates varied contemporary exhibitions, hosts open studios/tours, and participates in the Nashville Art Crawl Scene.

Curator Janet Decker Yanez and her family

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