Bushwick Gallery Explores Mother-Daughter Artist Duo’s Relationship for Women’s History Month

Becca Beberaggi

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Mother-Daughter contemporary artists Lizbeth Mitty (the mother) and Dana James (the daughter) are using their craft to tell the story of their love, relationship, and influence at a new joint show called “The Thread” coming to M. David & Co. Gallery in Bushwick this March. Just in time for Women’s History Month.

The title of the show “The Thread” is seemingly a metaphor inspired by their independent yet extremely close-knit lives. Even though both artists work separately at their own studios at times never addressing each other, they always make sure to find time to discuss ongoing work, go see shows together and allow themselves to be influenced by one another, which they acknowledge is just as valuable as the work itself. They are a point of reference for one another, trading information and methods just like peers.

“I feel very fortunate to have such a close friend on a parallel pathway,” Mitty said. “We have a relationship that wears a lot of hats; we are mother and daughter, friends, colleagues, allies, cheerleaders, and critics to one another all at once.”

Lizbeth Mitty, “Do Not Bring Roses,” Oil on canvas.

Although they have worked side by side for a number of years, they surprisingly never felt compelled to create a show as a team until gallerist Michael David approached them: “As artists, and as mother and daughter, we have so much to talk about on a constant basis. At the same time, we are two people who spend our days immersed in solitary activity in our separate studios,” Mitty said.

The undertaking of such a project is one that the pair takes in stride. Their goal is to make sure the work speaks for itself and that is simply good work. Mitty and James hope the show gives viewers the transformative experience—the best possible takeaway from good painting. The duo want the show to establish a sense of the deep commitment to painting and its process, that is inherent in both of the artists’ practices. The show aims for viewers to gradually understand the existence of history and unique bonding in the work.

“We are constantly asked about our influence on one another, especially the influence from mother on to daughter,” James said. “Our work is very different from one another.”

Dana James, Sprinter Series, 2018, oil, ink pastel, pigment on canvas.

The future of this mother-daughter duo is filled with collaborative intimacy and though they may not know if there will be another collaboration like this moving in the near future they do know one thing. “Our hope is that we can both continue to work since it’s a great gift to have the privilege to do so.”

“The Thread” opens March 15 at M. David & Co. Gallery in Bushwick. You can find more about it here.

All images courtesy of M. David & Co.

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