Artist Mother Studio (AMS) has been underway now for 3 weeks, and we're honored to introduce you to AMS Caretaker, Dani Simms. Dani is taking care of four children while their mothers, AMS artists-in-residence Leah Lewis, Katherine Tzu-Lan Mann, and Anne Smith work in their studios. This project would not be possible without Dani, and we are so grateful to have her. 

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Dani is a massage therapist, textile artist, and a professional nanny. She's provided care for families, community events, and art festivals. This past summer, Dani facilitated a two-week art camp for kids in Montego Bay, Jamaica where she taught kids how to weave a tapestry using recycled materials. Dani says that though she has a lot of experience working with kids, AMS is unique and a projectthat she really believes in.

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"Creating is a big part of my life. I'm very tactile which is why I do massage therapy, work with textiles and copper, and it's also why I like working with kids. And they are - as cliché as it is - they are the future. I hang out with them as friends. I believe in working together, and I believe it takes a community to raise a child." 

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"Being an artist, you need time to create and through projects like these, we can work together to make sure that happens. These are the solutions that are going to create the change we want to see. That's really important and I'm happy to do it - I love it. I didn't know what to expect because sometimes caretaking is difficult when the parents are around, but it's amazing, and so necessary. I would love to see more of this, there's so many ways that this model could be implemented into different spaces."

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Images: Dani with AMS artist-in-resident Katherine Mann's 3-year old daughter, May; and AMS artists-in-residence Katherine Mann (right) and Leah Lewis (left) work in their studio spaces at WPA while Dani watches their children.

Date

October 12, 2018

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