Simple Steps hopes to provide a variety of opportunities for women and help them navigate their career paths. We wanted to shine a light on our community of women and demonstrate their strong will and passion through artwork created by artist moms in the Bay Area. In this exhibition, 35 artist moms will present 83 pieces of beautiful artworks. This is a free event open to the public, so please feel free to bring your children and friends. We hope you enjoy our very first exhibition.
All of my best,
Founder, Simple Steps
I am an Artist and a Mom is the first step to establishing a community of artist moms. This exhibition’s focus is on emotion, nostalgia, love, and belonging.
As a mom, many of us often forget the passion we had before our lives became family focused. Living away from their home country, immigrant moms especially struggle day to day not only with raising children but also with adjusting to different customs and lifestyles. In the midst of all of this hardship, it is important to not forget who you are. For many artist moms, art is the medium that connects themselves to the creative world. We hope to encourage many moms to re-discover their love for the arts, regain self-confidence and continue to create unique pieces. For this exhibition, we wanted to showcase diverse artworks created by the artists. As we reviewed the artworks, we noticed that many works embodied the artists’ love for their children, their self reflection, nostalgia about their home countries, and passion for their artwork.
We hope this will establish an artist community where the artists can share their talents as well as their daily ordeals of being a super mom. We understand that there are limited opportunities to meeting new people and wanted to open up that opportunity through Simple Steps.
– The Curatorial Team, Kathrin Choi, Hyunji Ghang, Sangmi Koh
List of Artists in the Exhibition
PAINTING / ILLUSTRATIONS
Ivory Yeunmi Lee
Jin Young Oh
Kyong Hye Courtney Yun
SCULPTURE / MIXED MEDIA
Hannah Hyunah Lee
Hee Kyung Sohn
Kyung Min Kim
JOGAKBO (TRADITIONAL KOREAN PATCHWORK)
Eun Young Choi
Hye Jung Hyeon
Mi Young Yu
Interview with Kathrin Choi, a curatorial team member for the exhibition
Q. What interested you to participate in Simple Steps’ exhibition? A. Before relocating to the Bay Area, I worked in the arts field in Toronto, Canada. When a friend of mine introduced Simple Steps, I was excited to learn they were planning for a group exhibition. I knew my experience as an art gallery coordinator would come in handy, so I decided to participate. I have been away from the arts scene since my daughter was born and thought that this would be the perfect opportunity to immerse myself into working in the arts.Q. So you used to work as an art gallery coordinator? Can you explain this a little more in detail? A. I worked at a multi-disciplinary arts center in Toronto called Harbourfront Centre. I started as a gallery docent and two years later became more involved in the art installation process. I reviewed artist submissions, managed archives and social media, and assisted the in-house curator in setting up exhibitions throughout the center. The center’s art venue was open to the public all year long and had unique exhibitions ranging from visual arts to crafts to architecture. The venue hosted family friendly events throughout the year and attracted a large number of diverse audiences.
Q. What did you like most about being an art gallery coordinator?
A. The center had six exhibitions a year with a week for installation in between. This is when the magic happens and I loved being hands-on, painting the walls, putting up signs and artworks, and making sure the lighting was just perfect for each artwork displayed. The rush to meet the deadline and the quick turnover drove me to work harder, and it excited me even more knowing that the team’s hard work would come to fruition during the gallery opening. The thing with group exhibitions is that you have to coordinate with multiple artists and make sure each piece is optimally displayed. This involves a lot of follow up and coordination with artists. Q. What made you move to the Bay Area?
A. To be honest, I never thought I would be living away from where I grew up. My husband went to Berkeley to further his career, and we spent two years apart while he finished his masters degree. After his graduation he got offered a job in SF and decided to move to the Bay Area with our newborn baby. It was difficult to leave behind my family, friends, and career, but I was excited to start a new chapter of our lives here.
Q. So you moved to a new country with a newborn baby? That must have been quite challenging.
A. The first few months were disastrous. We had nothing but a bed at our new place and I was trying to set up the apartment while I was nursing a two-month old baby. Thinking back, I don’t know how I could have done it all without the help of online shopping and grocery delivery services.
Q. What is your role in the Simple Steps exhibition?
A. My role as the exhibition curator consists of reviewing submissions, editing artist statements, and designing the exhibition for the best viewing experience. The curator oversees the entire exhibition process to make sure that each piece of artwork is appreciated.
Q. What do you enjoy the most about preparing for the Simple Steps exhibition?
A. I’ve been envious of my husband since moving here because he got to go out and network with people in his field. While I love being a mom and adore my daughter dearly, I miss my pre-baby life. I am sure many moms who put their careers aside would agree. It felt good to recenter myself in the world of arts and put my skills to work when I joined the Simple Steps exhibition team. Even though a lot of work is involved, I am enjoying every bit of it, especially getting to know new people and seeing many talented artists displaying their work for this exhibition.
Q. What do you hope to take away from this exhibition?
A. The Simple Steps exhibition team put a huge effort into make this exhibition happen. This exhibition is the opening chapter of many exhibitions to come, and I hope we can create a community of artist moms where many are encouraged to continue creating beautiful artworks for everyone to see.
Q. I see that you have another child on the way. What are your plans?
A. Delivering a healthy baby! For the next little while, I am going to focus on raising my two daughters. When they are off to school, I want to get back to working in the arts.
Q. Lastly, anything you’d like to include?
A. Simple Steps is a great organization that aims to create networking opportunities for immigrant moms and help them get back to their careers. I am grateful that I got to work with such a dedicated team and look forward to meeting professional moms in various fields.
Kathrin Choi – Curation(Sculpture, Jogakbo)
Hyunji Gahng – Curation (Painting & Illustration)
Sangmi Koh – Curation (Jogakbo), Poster & Logo Design