“Although labor and delivery are necessary to our continuation as a species we rarely give the deserved attention to what women go through in the process of having their children.”

Forrest Solis is a recipient of a 2015 Artist Research & Development Grant.

Artist Research and Development Grants are designed to support the advancement of artistic research, aid in the development of artistic work and recognize the contributions individual artists make to Arizona’s communities. For more information about the Artist Research & Development Grant, click here.

L&D Day #1, by Forest SolisForrest Solis’ “L&D Day Series” expands her discipline of figure painting into the realm of installation by integrating audio of women telling their labor and delivery stories and exhibiting in a site specific location. Although labor and delivery are necessities of our species, the actual act rarely receives its due attention, and though the process has changed profoundly over the decades, there are very few first-hand accounts. Solis is interested in women’s individual memories of their experience, altered and transformed by heightened emotions and full of dramatic twists, heartbreak and horror. She is collecting stories from a broad demographic, attempting to provoke a mix of emotional and intellectual responses without a singular prevailing view.

The final work will be a series of nine paintings and nine accompanying audio tracks in an exhibition at the original site depicted in the paintings, the ASU Community Services Building’s abandoned surgical wing. Viewers will see the paintings displayed in the various rooms of the surgical wing; each room will have a different woman’s labor and delivery story piped into the space. Solis’ goal for this body of work is to investigate the neglected subject of labor and delivery, and to explore an interdisciplinary approach to art-making that creates meaningful interactions and partnerships within the larger community.

headshot_aForrest Solis’ creative research considers adult-child relationships, gender-normativity and domestic abuse. She often employs elements of Cubism, feminist theory and concepts of the uncanny in her paintings. Solis received her BFA in 2001 from the Kansas City Art Institute and an MFA in 2003 from Indiana University. While studying at Indiana University, she received the prestigious Dedalus Foundation Master of Fine Art Fellowship. She taught as Assistant Professor of Art at DePauw University, Indiana, until 2006 and is currently an Associate Professor of Art at Arizona State University in Phoenix. The ASU Institute of Humanities Research and the Herberger Institute of Design and Art recently awarded a Seed Grant to Solis for the Creative Push project.

Solis is represented by Galleri Urbane in Dallas/Marfa TX, Sugarman-Peterson Gallery in Santa Fe NM, Gebert Contemporary Gallery in Scottsdale AZ. Her paintings have exhibited regionally and nationally in solo exhibitions, group exhibitions, juried exhibitions and at major Art Fairs in Miami and Dallas. Exhibition venues include the Sylvia White Gallery, Ventura, CA; ARC Gallery, Chicago, IL; Torpedo Factory, Alexandria, VA; Hive Gallery, Los Angeles, CA; and Mesa Art Center, Mesa, AZ. Her work has been published in American Art Collector, Arts+Culture Magazine, Direct Art, Studio Visit and Visual Overture Magazine.

Creative Push, an ongoing art and oral history project that grew out of Solis’ L&D Day series, presented its first group exhibition in Phoenix on Friday, February 5, 2016.

On April 1-29, 2016 Creative Push presents L & D Day, a solo exhibition of Forrest Solis’ artwork and audio stories about birth trauma at the ASU Community Services Building.
Ms. Solis developed the L & D Day series of paintings in response to the squeamishness and discomfort that many people associate with the subject of birth. The paintings are a dramatized narrative of her birth experience that reference horror film stills.

Solis is currently seeking women willing to contribute their own stories. If you are interested in participating, visit www.creativepush.org and click on “Participate” in the top, right-hand corner.

You can read more about Creative Push in this recent article published in ASU Now.