Although contemporary artists have long explored maternity in their work, art on this subject has only recently received the attention it deserves. The topics of birth and motherhood are still met with derision, but some in the art world have begun breaking the taboos that surround these matters. This fearlessness has produced compelling and necessary commentaries on everything from the mundane-yet-heroic aspects of care work to the US’s high maternal mortality rate and the nation’s status as the only industrialized country to lack universal paid family leave.

In this program, hear from a scholar, a public health professional, and an artist as they discuss these issues, their enduring relevance, and the impact art and design can have on raising awareness about maternal and infant health.

Nashira Baril, cofounder, Boston’s Neighborhood Birth Center
Naitasia Hensey, attorney and copresident, Mass NOW
Kelly Marshall, artist
Amie Shao, principal, MASS Design Group
Moderated by Michelle Millar Fisher, Ronald C. and Anita L. Wornick Curator of Contemporary Decorative Arts