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Jessica Caldas: Every Stage of Becoming

Jun 10, 2023 - Aug 5, 2023
12pm - 5pm

2022/2023 Working Artist Project

This round of Working Artist Projects was curated by Drew Sawyer, Phillip Leonian and Edith Rosenbaum Leonian Curator of Photography at the Brooklyn Museum

About the Exhibition

“In almost every chance I have been given to speak publicly about my work since becoming a mother I have mentioned the ways in which the community closest to me helped me survive the first years of motherhood. Every Stage of Becoming imagines a small universe where every person has a community to support and care for them through labor and love, through birth and loss, through choice and failure.

This Tired Body is a mother, a lover, a daughter.
Witness her story. Sit in her seat. Share in her labor.
Her home is here. It was then, it is now, and it will be.

This Tired Body is the family blood.
She is birthed and has birthed. She has failed and she has succeeded.
Her labor is a gift.

This Tired Body is the family built.
She is intimacy, and sex, and love, and care. She is so many more things than one.
Her labor is a choice.

This Tired Body is everything.
She is also nothing.
She is one thing and many things.

This Tired Body knows violence.
She knows the cost of building and becoming.
She is willing to pay that cost for you.

This Tired Body has a choice: give or take.
Sometimes she will choose both but sometimes she can only make one choice.
Neither choice is wrong.

This Tired Body offers gifts.
You will never be able to pay her back.
She knows this and still gives freely.

This Tired Body gives but will not give everything.
She is not a martyr. She will protect herself.
She will rest.

This Tired Body could be the world.
She is a picture of what might be.
She is the labor of love made manifest.”

–Jessica Caldas

Image above: detail of “A name can be in a lot of places at once (Helen),” 2023, Used house linens, crochet, repurposed gifted furniture, polymer clay, yarn, poly fiber fill, fake pearls, and ceramic, dimension variable, by Jessica Caldas

Artist Talk July 20th, 2023

About Jessica Caldas

Jessica Caldas (b.1986) is a Puerto Rican American, Georgia and Florida based artist. Her work connects personal and community narratives, usually centered on the experiences of women and women identifying folks, to larger themes and social issues through bodily, multidisciplinary works. Caldas has participated in numerous artist residencies, including The Creatives Project from 2018-2019, Vermont Studio Center in 2020, and was the Art on the Atlanta Beltline AIR in 2020-2021. She is a 2022-2023 MOCA GA Working Artist Project fellow. Caldas was awarded The Center for Civic Innovations 2016 Creative Impact award and named Creative Loafing’s Best of ATL Artist for 2016 and 2015 for her performance and community work. She received the City of Atlanta Office of Cultural Affairs Emerging Artist Award in Visual Arts for 2014 and was a finalist for the Forward Arts Foundation’s Emerging Artist Award in 2014. Her work has been featured at Burnaway, ArtsAtl, and more and has been shown at the High Museum of Art in Atlanta, GA, at the Art & History Museums of Maitland, and is included in the collections of Kilpatrick Townsend, The City of Atlanta Office of Cultural Affairs, and the Kyoto International Community House.

Caldas received her MFA at Georgia State University in 2019 and received her BFA in printmaking from the University of Georgia in 2012. She is a part of Living Melody Collective, a multidisciplinary collective of femme artists that is based in Atlanta but is also nomadic along the East coast and throughout the Southeast. She currently runs Good News Arts, a small community arts space and gallery in rural North Central Florida.

Major funding provided by the Charles Loridans Foundation, the Antinori Foundation, and the AEC Trust, with additional support from the National Endowment for the Arts.

Photography by Alvaro Santistevan

Photography by Alvaro Santistevan

Photography by Alvaro Santistevan