Dear Mama

Artist

Jessica Gaynelle Moss

Date

2021

Location

Greater Pittsburgh, PA

Commissioning Organization

Office of Public Art

About the Project

Dear Mama by artist Jessica Gaynelle Moss is rooted in connection and rest for Black mothers across the United States. Over the course of this project, Moss will send care packages to Black mothers that consist of a hand-written letter as well as self-care products from Black artists, designers, and entrepreneurs throughout Pittsburgh.

The Care Packages

Each package includes a vintage copy of The Color Purple by Alice Walker, an anthology of letters written between two sisters. These books are provided by Bekezela Mguni and The Black Unicorn Library and Archive Project. The packages also include handmade goods from Loukeisa Denise and Triple Moon Alchemy, to encourage self care and connection, and day passes to Alecia Dawn’s Yoga Motif, to provide mental and physical support. Pittsburgh-based recipients will also receive offerings from the Flowers for Black Girls initiative.

Letter Writing

The Dear Mama care packages also feature stationery and envelopes designed by artist Huey P. Newty, as well as pens for letter writing. For Moss, letter writing is intimate and requires trust in her reader, but also builds care and connection. Recipients are invited to find their own solace and connection in this intimate practice by sending their own handwritten letters to other Black mothers.

Online Resources

Website

Learn more about Jessica Gaynelle Moss and her other projects on her website.

Partnering artists and businesses

Learn more about the Black artists and makers partnering on this project.

About the Artist

Jessica Gaynelle Moss is an artist, independent curator and arts consultant to institutions and private clients. She has an extensive background in program management, production and fabrication, nonprofit leadership, education, community engagement and the advancement of equitable development. Jessica is committed to developing innovative, ethical and responsible solutions to improve the conditions that directly affect Black people, women and underrepresented artists.

Jessica is the founder and director of The Roll Up CLT artist residency program in Charlotte NC, the Administrative Director of Sibyls Shrine artist residency program in Pittsburgh PA, and the Philanthropic Fellow of the Advancing Black Arts in Pittsburgh grant initiative of the Heinz Endowment and The Pittsburgh Foundation.

Jessica received a bachelors in Fine Art from Carnegie Mellon University; a masters in Arts Administration, Policy and Management from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago; and a masters in Studies of the Law from the University of Pittsburgh School of Law.

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Headshot of Jessica Gaynelle Moss photo Courtesy of sarah huny young

“This project was born from a love of Alice Walker’s The Color Purple, a need to stay connected to my community of other Black moms, a resistance to the idea that the virtual space is our only option, a desire to demonstrate care for others, and the necessity to reclaim time for myself.”

Jessica Gaynelle Moss

Image Credits

Gallery, top:
All images and photos courtesy the artist

Artist Headshot:
Artist Jessica Gaynelle Moss, photo by sarah huny young, courtesy artist

Related

PROJECTS

HerShe

A live online showcase and sale of artwork by Black Pittsburgh artists that builds relationships with new patrons and fosters connections within the arts community.

PROJECTS

Journey of the Hungry Ghost

This participatory, site-specific Chinese cultural ritual honors Chinese ancestors and celebrates early Chinese migrants to the Pittsburgh region.