Because I founded the Mormon Women Project almost five years ago, I’ve had the opportunity to interview hundreds of LDS women through that effort. The MWP was founded as an attempt to highlight the beauty and variety of our female membership, in hopes that Mormon women would have a wider range of models to admire and follow. It’s been an immensely rewarding journey for me, and along the way, I started getting asked to speak and write about women in the Church. Inevitably, along with the inspiring stories I’ve heard and read over the past several years, I’ve encountered too the pain and sense of betrayal that some of our women face at church. I see the effort to make women more comfortable at Church to be consistent with my effort to highlight the diversity of our membership: it’s all an effort to widen our embrace of each other, inspire empathy, and emphasize the broad range of contributions we women make to our communities and to the Church.
We hope you are enjoying Paige Crosland Anderson’s work and we want you to get to know a little bit more about her. We think you will enjoy gaining more insight into her process, her motivations, and the reality of how she makes creating happen. You can enjoy even more of her work here: http://www.paigeandersonart.com
What are your sources of inspiration?
PCA: I draw inspiration from a variety of sources—quilts; mothering; ancestry and related ideas about succession; meditation and repetition; women; working with our hands; the meanings associated with repeated acts or rituals.
It’s not just the patterns of quilts that inspire me. It’s their ties to women, to women’s work, to meditation and focus. It’s their association with warmth, with family, with creating something to give to another. My grandmother is a quilter and many of my first paintings were based on quilt patterns I had grown up seeing in her home. I have recently turned to pioneer quilt patterns and studied some historical Mormon pioneer quilts that have served as the basis of my latest work.
We are so excited here at Segullah to be featuring the work of artist Paige Crosland Anderson over the next little while. We will start you by giving you a little back ground on her and share some of her feelings and motivations surrounding her work. And stay tuned for an artist interview with her. You can check out her beautiful work at http://www.paigeandersonart.com Paige Crosland Anderson grew up at the base of the Wasatch Mountains in the midst much of her extended family. She graduated with her Bachelors in Fine Arts as the Valedictorian from Brigham Young University in 2011. She, her husband and two daughters are getting settled back in Utah after years away living in Bologna, Italy and Washington DC. She loves spending time riding her bike with her family, playing cards, and testing out new recipes.
Artist Statement: My work seeks to explore how space—whether physical or emotional—is made sacred through repeated events. The use of methodical processes and repetitive forms reference the quotidian routines that make up daily life; the succession of daily rituals that eventually stack up like repeated miracles and create meaning. I try to incorporate the truer parts of daily life: the messes, disasters and ultimately the forming of beauty through accumulated layers—be they predictable and clean, or raw and variable. Methodical processes also underscore the connection my work has to traditional women’s work—like quilting—as well as daily family rituals, ceremony and pursuing genealogical research. I have come to understand my life and personal history as an outgrowth of my families’. My work explores the idea that I am but one on a string of genetically linked individuals. This notion has profound implications; that events give birth to events, changes to changes, and actions to actions; that I am but part of a grand causality.
On Monday, we featured a book review of Dr. Christina Hibbert’s memoir, This is How We Grow, the story of how she and her family adapted and changed after her sister and brother-in-law died and the Hibberts adopted their two sons. Today, we’re resurrecting a feature we used to have in the print journal, the “Faces of Latter-day Saint Women” interviews, and I was delighted to be able to have this conversation with Dr. Hibbert:
Talk a little bit about the process of writing the memoir. When you were writing in your journal while you were going through the process, did you think that you might eventually turn this experience into a book?
I had wanted to write a book for many years prior to the experiences I share in This is How We Grow. I’d even begun writing a book about my little sister, McLean, who died when she was 8 years old from cancer. But then, my sister Shannon died just two months after her husband had died. I suddenly had six kids, and my life changed completely; I thought, “I’ll never be able to write a book now.”
A few months later, as I was journaling (I’ve been an avid journaler for as long as I can remember), I had a feeling, Someday, you will write this story. I didn’t tell anyone about it, but it was in the back of my mind with every journal entry from that point on. Even though life was too full to add any career pursuits, including writing a book, I soon figured I could at least write a little each day. Each night I’d write in a notebook (not my journal) for 10 minutes about whatever topic was on my mind at the time. Continue reading Faces of Latter-day Saint Women: A Conversation with Dr. Christina Hibbert→
You may be familiar with the beautiful writing of Maralise Petersen, who worked as Segullah’s intrepid blog editor for several years, but you might not know that she’s also an artist. Maralise, who now works as the Art Editor for the journal, had to have her arm twisted by the entire staff to allow us to feature her artwork in our anniversary issue. When you page through the journal or browse through this post, you’ll see why we’re glad we finally persuaded her.
Mara’s work has been featured in has been featured at the Amerikahaus in Vienna, Austria; the “Women of Faith” exhibit in Washington D.C.; and in the literary journal Irreantum. She lives with her husband and two sons in Tennessee. You can see more of her work at Reluctant Nomad.
1) How did you begin your work as an artist? It was a complete accident. I had worked in portraiture since 2005 and while avoiding work for a client, I began layering pictures on top of one another, changing the blending methods, and figuring out what came out of the mix. I was so intrigued with those manipulations that I kept exploring, usually in fits and starts. My work, unlike most artists, and probably to its detriment, is most often not premeditated. Although I would argue that the pieces I create have imbued meaning of some kind, that they answer a question or a series of questions that I pose while creating them, the answers are often delightfully unexpected. Continue reading Interview with Featured Artist Maralise Petersen→