UNT alumni combine art, motherhood with The Mother Load project

Natalie Macellaio ('05 M.F.A.) and Lesli Robertson ('06 M.F.A.) (Photo by Michael Clements)Lesli Robertson ('06 M.F.A.), right, and Natalie Macellaio ('05 M.F.A.), left, wanted to talk with other artists like themselves about how they combine their drive for their art with their roles as mothers. The result is The Mother Load, which has drawn 100 artists from 10 countries. Their work has been shown at the Hannah Maclure Centre in Dundee, Scotland, and the Dallas Museum of Art. It all began with conversations between Robertson, lecturer in fibers in the College of Visual Arts and Design, and Macellaio, sculpture professor at Brookhaven College in Dallas, who both have small children.

"From our conversations, we realized what a joy it was to have each other to talk to," Macellaio says. "We thought other people would like to experience this as well."

Each contributing artist imprints her own and her children's fingerprints on one side of a copper plate, and a QR code on the other side points to the artist's website, "a wonderful way of representing two sides of the artist," Robertson says.

The plates are exhibited along with artwork from participating artists and an interactive sculpture. To support their efforts, Robertson and Macellaio collaborate on limited edition jewelry.