About the Circle of Mothers Series:
First let me say how sorry I am for what these mothers have had to endure in the senseless loss of their children. I am honored that they have allowed me to serve them and their children in this tribute. Their suffering compels one to action. The paintings affirm the dignity of these women and their children by telling their stories.
My name is Sylvia Maier and I am an artist in NYC. Feeling so saddened, I painted a response work when Kadiatou’s son Amadou Diallo was killed in 1999. It has been many years now and the climate of the world has not really changed. The senseless killing is still going on and with the the latest incidents I have been gratefully commissioned for 3 works on the civil ( human) rights movement. Upon further reflection, honoring the mothers who have lost their children and continue to fight in the struggle seemed fitting. As I am a mother of 2 sons and had a great bond with my own mother this series is very meaningful to me. After finishing a painting of Jesus meeting his mother for the stations of the cross, a group show of diverse artist now touring the world, I thought of mothers for this project.
The works are large 48″X 48″ and they are in the format of a coin to commemorate and depict spiritual currency. It will show during Art Basel in Miami in December.
Six mothers, each one remebering their son every single day. I reached out to Kadiatou Diallo, Amadou’s mom and Sybrina, Trayvon Martin’s mom to bridge the present with the past. Kadiatou Diallo was the first to respond and she introduced me to the Circle Of Mothers. A support group of mothers, a community built out of tragedy . There were so many responses, so many mothers out there willing to pose and be part of this project. It was daunting and broke my heart. They would have wrapped around the block many times over. The sheer numbers! I will continue painting them. These are mothers who have become advocates for change.
The work is to speak to the past and present. The works’ intention would be to represent the human beings, not the way the media has depicted them, but simply as mothers who live with the loss of their children. Children who were on the honor roll, visiting for their 28th birthday, affectionate adoring sons to their moms. Friends, playful spirited children, preparing to marry, with dreams , looking for an education ! Our children our community. To promote healing and positive change is the intention for this work.
About the Currency Series:
This work initiates a conversation about individual value and our sense of self worth. It explores how seeing ourselves in a positive light can increase our value as helpful members of society.
The work poses several questions. Can achieving our highest self be our maximum currency? Can everyday life be thought of as spiritual currency?
“Currency” consists of a series of paintings, 11×14″. Each painting is a portrait with a coin drawn around it with the words of our familiar 1, 5, 10, and 25 cent coins. Painted in oil on wood or copper panels, all paintings are in gold floater frames to make it appear that each face, each individual, is commemorated on a US coin.
The words “Liberty” and “In God We Trust” line the walls along with everyday extraordinary humans – and animals – for the viewers’ contemplation.
The faces are of different nationalities, ethnicities, ages and histories attached to our country. It’s a reminder that we are all worthy of commemoration for our own innate uniqueness.
“Currency” reflects on equal worth, the unique in the ordinary – and the abundance that every single one of us deserves.
How to commission a coin portrait painting
Coin paintings are 11×14 inches in size and are usually framed in gold floater frames. They are painted either on wood panels or on copper sheets
The preferred commission process would be for the model to come to the studio for a first session and professional photo and then for one more life session when the painting is almost finished. If this is not possible, coin portraits can also be done from a photo.