Postpartum Body Love.jpg

“Postpartum Body Love,” a photograph by Andrea Leoncavallo, was the winner of the Judges Choice Award in the Women’s Exhibit: “Motherhood” at the Josephy Center for Arts and Culture that concluded Tuesday, April 6, 2021.

JOSEPH — The spiritual, psychic, visceral and transformative relationship between a mother and child cannot be understated and was the focus of work selected as the Judges Choice Award in the recently concluded Women’s Exhibit at the Josephy Center for Arts and Culture.

The center invited women artists to contemplate the idea and experiences of motherhood in all its forms. They may be cathartic expressions of the pain and challenges these relationships can inflict or beautiful celebrations of joy and triumph. All mediums were welcomed in an exploration of the powerful and transcendent idea of motherhood, according to a press release.

In the release, Andrea Leoncavallo stated, “I am a published portrait photographer and documentary producer who became a mother at the age of 33. Becoming a mother showed me how truly important the role of artist is to my identity and my life. I never knew how much pressure was put on mothers until I became one.”

More of her images are available to view at https://josephy.org/event/motherhood.

“Through my work as an artist I have a voice and a unique perspective that when shared connects and resonates with other people,” she said. “I am passionate about documenting my struggles with motherhood and sharing them so that others may feel seen and understood and not alone as I did when I became a mother.”

The exhibit ran from Feb. 26 to April 6 at the center. The exhibit was curated by Aimee Jungmann.

Leoncavallo’s images show three stages of radical self love that she experienced as a mother. The first is about my body image. The second image is about my struggle with postpartum depression and resenting motherhood and the time it has taken away from work. The third image is her interpretation of weaning.

“So much of motherhood is bitter sweet, beautifully painful,” she said of the third image. “I tried to capture that in this image.

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