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The 44.4 Collective is so ECSTATIC to announce not one, but TWO upcoming exhibitions:

Don’t Worry, I’ll Only Show You the Good Parts” hosted by the Urban Art Collective (UAC)
May 2- 21st, 2023
Don’t Worry, I’ll Only Show You the Small Parts” with the Ottawa Miniature Gallery (OMG)

May 2- August 1, 2023

Vernissage: Saturday, May 6, from 11 am-4 pm

1088 Somerset St. W., Ottawa, ON (at the Urban Art Collective)

For inquiries about purchasing work from either exhibition, please contact: for the "Good Parts" (UAC) and for the "Small Parts" (OMG)

Artists need community. This is the central premise of the 44.4 Mother/Artist Collective, as well as the starting point for our collaborative exhibition. Together, we identify the ‘good parts’ of our projects and push each other to further express those elements, finish them, polish them, exhibit them, sell them, write about them, and archive them. The ‘good parts’ might not be the obviously pretty parts, and they aren’t always the parts that are fun to make.


​Inspired by a New York Times article, “What Does It Mean to Be an Artist and a Mother?”, the 44.4 Collective has met monthly since 2019. We live and work across the Ottawa-Gatineau region. We have each taken different journeys to the region, to art production and to motherhood. As a group, we are raising 18 children between the ages of two and twenty. We have more degrees than children, and we’ve attained those qualifications in fields from jewelry to public health.


Some of us address the subject of childrearing in our work, others focus on entirely different subjects. We work in paint, metal, and textiles, among other materials. We each dedicate different proportions of our daily lives to salaried work, entrepreneurship, childcare and studio production. We do not presume to speak for all mothers, nor all artists. We are all committed to pushing the boundaries of our individual practices, and we all find it easier to do so in good company.  


The long pandemic months forced our new group to think creatively about community. While it was relatively easy to move our monthly meetings to Zoom, it was much harder to see the full tactile dimensions of each other’s work on screens. All of us were impacted by school and daycare closures, as well as extended caregiving duties and the need to cover for other family members’ various duties.


We missed the social fabric of our daily lives, and our membership roster shrank and then blossomed as we forged new connections. One of us became a mother during the pandemic; another completed her MFA. Working under the guidelines of Ottawa Public Health, we mounted an outdoor installation, “Ballot Initiative” (2020) and were delighted when we could resume meeting in our studios.  


The title of this exhibition is a riff on Ree Morton’s “Don’t Worry, I’ll Only Read You the Good Parts” (1975), a work which was highlighted in the New York Times article (and pictured above). Morton’s piece became a touchpoint for the group, most likely because it exposes the peculiar overlap between creating a piece of art for exhibition and preparing a child to be launched into the world.


The yellow and black pieces around the edges of the gallery space are the product of an experiment. We challenged each other to keep Morton’s colour scheme, engagement with text, approximate dimensions and make work in our own media which responded in some manner to the phrase most of us have promised our children at bedtime. For all of us, it was a new challenge to make art under a unified theme and without knowing what the rest of the collective would bring to the show.


The Ottawa Miniature Gallery is installed at the UAC at the invitation of Jennifer Anne Kelly, who built the structure to showcase the work of Ottawa’s creative community. The 44.4 Collective curated “Don’t Worry, I’ll Only Show You the Small Parts,” as a show-within-a-show which juxtaposes our work on a miniature scale. The OMG installation will remain in place until August 1st, and you can follow subsequent exhibitions @ottawaminiaturegallery.​


Acknowledgements: The 44.4 Mother/Artist Collective gratefully acknowledges financial support from the City of Ottawa. Meeting space for our collective was provided by Enriched Bread Artists, Gallery Nine Four Two, the Rectory Art House at St. Brigid’s Centre for the Arts, Studio Sixty Six and Zoom. We are grateful to Jennifer Anne Kelly for inviting us to participate in the Ottawa Miniature Gallery program and loaning the OMG structure to UAC. We would also like to thank our mentors, friends, and families for their unwavering support, which enabled us to make the work in this exhibition.

Text by Victoria J. Solan

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