Monday, November 7, 2022

In the News - Delaware LIVE

The day started out just like any other day - well, minus the fact that it's grading day, and every school teacher knows what that feels like! I was dreading checking my email (as one does on grading day), when much to my surprise I was faced with a delightful message from Jarek Rutz, an education reporter for Delaware LIVE News. What a welcome way to start the day, indeed!

As it turns out, this was the second interview I did today - I'm getting good at this, folks! The first interview was for the Delaware State of the Arts podcast (hopefully coming out this Saturday or Sunday) via Zoom, and then I had a phone interview with Jarek. You would think that as a teacher, you are used to talking all day and you wouldn't be so nervous for interviews.... and you would be wrong! It was oddly nerve-racking, though to be sure, there is no subject I am more familiar with than my own artwork. After both interviews, I was certainly shaking with a combination of nerves and intense enthusiasm.

I didn't expect the article to go online so quickly, but here it is. I was at Brew Ha-Ha, waiting to meet up with Shawn Faust and Jeremy Hebbel, two amazing Delaware artists with whom I am collaborating on an upcoming project called Into Light. More on this in another post! While I was waiting, I innocently opened my email to see the article was already live! I'm fairly certain the baristas at the counter just thought I was really feeling the groove of the 90's music in the background (which, to be fair, I was) but in actuality, I was quite literally, jumping up and down with excitement. 

Every artist is excited to of course have their minute in the spotlight. However, as a chronic migraine sufferer, one of the things I find the most heartening is that the more air space my exhibition gets, the more people will be talking about what it really is like to suffer from migraines, a neurological disease. Since the inception of this project, so many people have reached out to me to share their experiences, and I think that it is just so helpful to know we are not out there, suffering alone. 

Luckily for me, I have had an amazing support group here in Delaware. I attribute it to them (and also to Emgality, and no I'm not getting kickbacks ha!) that I have made such strides in recovering my health.

All that said and done, please check out this great article! Let me know what you think and feel free to share YOUR migraine story!

Thursday, November 3, 2022

Press Release and Video

Read the full press release for my exhibition below after watching my Artist Video

The Delaware Division of the Arts’ Mezzanine Gallery presents 2022 DDOA Individual Artist Fellow Maia Palmer’s exhibition, "Making the Invisible, Visible", running November 4-25, 2022. Guests are invited to attend a Meet-the-Artist Reception on Friday, November 4, from 5:00-7:00 p.m. (There will be student performance at 5pm from the strings majors at Cab Calloway School of the Arts, with special thanks to educator Julie Murphy)
Committed to “being a positive force for social change,” Palmer is the high school visual arts teacher at Cab Calloway School of the Arts. She feels strongly about teaching there, saying “I am a product of public school and I want to be part of rebuilding its strength.” One of the most exciting aspects of receiving the Fellowship is “the recognition of my work” and the ability to further its scope and her goal to “help amplify the voices of those who are not always heard.”
"Making the Invisible, Visible" features a series of migraine self-portraits documenting Palmer’s experiences as a migraineur over the past 15 years. To be clear, migraine is a neurological disease, one that is debilitating and painfully real. Yet it is frequently referred to as an “invisible illness,” as there are often no visible symptoms. Women in particular are subject to dismissive treatment because of this, as Palmer has experienced first hand.
With these works, Palmer examines her relationship with migraine. She merges autobiographical experiences with imagery and text laden with both historical and personal value. Each of these images captures a real, private moment that she has in fact experienced - from hiding under blankets to wearing hand-made ‘migraine boxes’. She says, “Creating these drawings is a visceral process of acknowledging the larger than life physical and emotional pain that migraine has caused in my life - as well as the emotional and physical growth it has helped me accomplish. I am ultimately a stronger person as I emerge on the other side of chronic migraine, cherishing every moment and delighting in our capacity as humans to overcome and endure.”
Navigating her own experiences, Palmer has embodied the physical and mental trauma of this illness by manipulating surfaces and materials to simulate the experience of a migraine - the tearing of paper, or the piercing of a surface with needle and thread. By making visible the invisible trauma of migraine, she aims to bring awareness to this consistently under-funded, chronically misunderstood disease.
The Mezzanine Gallery, open weekdays from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., is located on the second floor of the Carvel State Office Building, 820 N. French Street, Wilmington.