Today is International Women’s Day.
Imagine a gender equal world. A world free of bias, stereotypes, and discrimination. A world that’s diverse, equitable, and inclusive. A world where difference is valued and celebrated. Together we can forge women’s equality. Collectively we can all #EmbraceEquity.
I’ve been fortunate to have many incredible women influence my life and how I think about gender and gender equity. My mother, Cecelia Feld, is the first of them.
My parents modeled excellent behavior for me as I was growing up. They were equal partners in their relationship. While they were an incredible couple, my mother was independent of my father. She was a leader in her community, unafraid to take on anything and unconstrained by the social norms of the time. As a full-time artist, she was ambitious professionally. She embraced her identity as a mother but also as a woman, a professional, and a lifelong learner.
When I went to college at MIT, which at the time was 80/20 male/female (they’ve made a lot of progress since 1983) and suddenly encountered a lack of gender equity everywhere, at least I had a baseline of what gender equity looked like.
Cecelia has explored working with many different media over the last 50+ years as an artist. She’s always been a photographer and extensively documented her travels with photographs. In honor of her on International Women’s Day 2023, please enjoy photographs of women from a few places in the world that my mother has taken over the years.
I love a Haiku
My mother is an artist
Haikus in winter
My mom has started a haiku project. She takes haikus that friends write and turns them into a collage.
Following is a haiku I wrote after my mom sent me an email asking me for one.
Yes, I was in Charlotte, North Carolina at the time. I’m on the board of AvidXchange and this likely was written the night before the one board meeting a year I attend in person. Charlotte is a nice place, so this is less about Charlotte and more about me.
Here’s the painting that resulted.
I love it and asked my mom if I could buy it. She said no because she wants to exhibit them as a collection first.
She did create another print for me of this, so I’ll get it, but I really want the original in all its glory. So, if you are a curator at a museum and you want to do me a favor, drop me a note so I can get these exhibited so that I can then buy them. And yes, I’ll underwrite the exhibit, unless my mom won’t let me.
If you’ve got a haiku that you want turned into a collage, leave it in the comments or email it to me.
I love my mom’s art. If you aren’t familiar with it, following is a piece that will be at her exhibit starting next week at CU.
The opening reception is going to be at 6pm on 8/27 at Andrew J. Macky Gallery in the foyer of Macky Auditorium Concert Hall, University of Colorado Boulder (285 University Avenue, Boulder).
I’ll be there along with my mom, dad, Amy, and a bunch of other friends. Come join us. For a taste of what else will be there, here’s another piece from the exhibit.
Every entrepreneur has a mom. Take a look at a few of the Techstars moms and, as a special bonus, some childhood pictures of me and my brother Daniel.
My mom – Cecelia Feld – has had an enormous influence on me in so many different ways. She’s an artist, so from a very young age I was exposed to an endless stream of creative activities. She is serious and disciplined about her art, so when I was in school, I knew she was unavailable between 9am and 5pm because she was working in her studio. While it would have been easy for her to call it quits early to hang out with her kids, her focus on her craft was a notion she planted deep in my mind early and carries through my belief system, impacting how I approach my craft.
Mom is incredibly generous of spirit, especially when I’m being difficult as a son. I’m sure I annoyed the shit out of her as a kid (and continue to as an adult) with my endless questions, exploration, openness, and unwillingness to be passive about things. I never felt anything from her but unconditional love. Sure – she got angry sometimes, was comfortable disciplining me when I crossed a line, but she always did it in a way that I learned from it, never felt threatened (physically or emotionally), and always closed the loop with me after so that the lesson she was trying to convey was learned.
She’s a thinker. She loves to read. She loves to explore new ideas and new places. She loves to try new things, especially when they are part of her craft. I remember her getting excited about digital photography a while ago, learning Photoshop – and I mean REALLY learning Photoshop – which is no picnic. What she can do with it is magnificent.
I learned about loyalty, compassion, and love from my mom. Her relationship with my dad continues to inspire me. After 50 years of being married, they are still deeply in love.
My mom is cool. When I was in high school, she drove a Corvette. She’s always had crazy curly long hair, which is the inspiration for my crazy curly long hair. She knows how to hang with people of any age. She’s funny as hell without trying to be. And she has an endless edgy contemporary style in everything she does.
Mom – you are awesome. Happy mother’s day. Thanks for putting up with me.
My mom (Cecelia Feld) is having an opening in Denver on Friday 11/1 at Artwork Network Gallery from 5pm – 9pm. I’m heading down to Denver at the end of the day on Friday and will be there from 5pm – 7pm before I head out for dinner (a good son has to eat, right?)
I love my mom’s art and if you’ve ever been in my office you’ve seen some of it around. If you aren’t familiar with it, a piece from the show is below or go check out her website at Studio 7310.
Artwork Network Gallery is located at 878 Santa Fe Drive, Denver, CO 80204 (303-388-7420). I hope to see you Friday night!
My mom (Cecelia Feld) just put up a new website (Studio 7310) showcasing her art. In addition to being a really beautiful new site, she’s also started blogging at Art Everyday and tweeting at @ceceliafeld. I’m awesomely proud of my mom for embracing the web and social media – gigantic smiles from the son.
Rather than talk about it, I’ll let a few pictures tell the story. If you are into art, know my mom, or are just curious, venture over to Studio 7310 and take a look. And, if you fall in love with something, don’t be bashful – even though she’s modest about it, she loves it when people buy or exhibit her art (ok – that’s the son doing his shameless promotion thing.)
Amy and I have a bunch of my mom’s art. If you’ve been in my office or to my house, you’ve seen some of it. She works in a bunch of different mediums – the one above is a collage, the one below is a solar plate print.
Following are some of my favorite paintings that my mom has ever done. They are huge (think 20′ x 20′) and bring any wall to life.
I’ll end with a great Texas Hill Country photograph. Don’t forget to subscribe to Cecelia’s (she’ll probably be ok with you calling her “Brad’s mom” – at the minimum that will bring a smile to her face) blog and twitter feed now that I’ve managed to convert her to a blogger in addition to being an artist.
My mom (Cecelia Feld) has had a huge positive impact on my life in many ways. I like to think that I’ve also had a huge positive impact on her life, although I’m sure there have been times that she wanted to hide in a closet from me and scream at the top of her lungs.
Cecelia is an amazing artist who has worked at her craft her entire adult life. As kids, my brother Daniel and I understood that between 9am and 5pm “mom was working in her studio” and was not to be bothered. Among other things, I learned the notion of focused, passionate discipline from her, but I also figured out how to keep myself entertained until she was done working for the day.
One thing that I’ve pestered her endlessly about is being a more shameless salesperson for her art. So, it’s with much pride that I see her now doing her “art pick of the month” where she’s selling one of her pieces for 30% off and promoting it through her email list. I can’t get her to do a blog, so instead I’ll promote it here.
This piece is called (#984) Kimono Series #6 and is a collagraph monotype sized 22×30”. Cecelia did this in 2002 which makes me think of the chaos that was in my head as I continued to unwind the mess that was my world from the collapse of the Internet bubble. It lists for $950 so with the 30% November 2010 discount it’s only $665.
If you are an art lover and this piece appeals to you or you want to be added to Cecelia’s email list, send her an email. I’d love to be able to tell my mom “see – my blog is worthwhile – I sold a piece of your art through it.”
If you are a fan of my mom’s art (Cecelia Feld), she’s part of an exhibit at the St. Julien Hotel in Boulder called Splash. The opening is this Wednesday July 7th from 6pm to 8pm. I won’t be there as Amy and I are hiding in Homer, Alaska for the month, but my mom is coming down from Keystone and I know she’d love to see my friends if you are around. It’s a real exhibit opening, so there will be food and wine for anyone that shows up!
There’s a huge profile of my mom (Cecelia Feld) in this month’s Texoma Living Magazine. She’s one of the five highlighted artists for their third annual art issue.
If you’ve ever been in my office or in my house, you’ve seen a lot of my mom’s art. As a kid, I was completely surrounded by art. In addition to my mom being an artist, both of my folks have an incredible nose for collecting and have built an amazing collection. Whenever we travelled, a big part of our trips were visits to art museums and galleries. As an eight year old, this often got really tedious and boring, but it sunk in and today one of my favorite things to do is stroll quietly thought a museum or gallery.
One of the things I’ve always loved about my mother’s art was how she used colors. She’s got a great line in her interview that reflects this – “I have a sense of how color works with color.” I’ve never really thought hard about this, but I love colorful stuff and would always rather be surrounded by colors than by black and white. I guess I’ll start attributing this to my mom!
If you are interested in art and want to see more of her work, take a look at her online gallery at Studio 7310.