Fruition mural project captures the spirit and stories of Oregon midwives, celebrates their accomplishments, and envisions and invigorates the work of the next generation. Fruition is a community mural project that make women’s experiences and midwives’ work visible to the public.
ABOUT THE PROJECT
The community mural movement started over forty years ago emanating from urban centers across America. Community-based murals are a unique form of mural making. They are transformative for participants and are a powerful means for people to claim and animate public space. Through the mural making process, participants create their own narratives, in visual terms, accessible and relevant to their communities. This is an opportunity to create a beautiful, monumental piece of art for Portland. Mural sites become landmarks, and we are excited to find a space that would benefit from such adornment.
Midwives provide women with essential reproductive health services throughout their lives as well as basic primary care. Women choose midwives because they desire holistic, compassionate, individualized, and high quality care that is woman and family centered. Midwives care for underserved populations, including refugee communities, homeless women, and women living with addiction. Over the last 50 years, the midwifery profession has adapted to changes in the healthcare system. Oregon leads the country with almost 20% of babies born with a midwife in attendance. Midwives in Oregon attend births at home, in birth centers and in most Portland area hospitals.
This mural project was conceived to mark this moment in history: the midwives who have grown the profession over the last 50 years are beginning to retire. We want to capture their spirit and stories, celebrate their accomplishments, and envision and invigorate the work of the next generation of midwives going forward. This is a vital opportunity to make women’s experiences and midwives’ work visible to the public.
Phase one involves visioning, fundraising, and identifying a site for the mural. Phase two will include research, interviews and hosting a facilitated workshop to generate themes and content to birth the mural design. The third phase is the painting. This will be a community participatory process! Finally, we will host a mural unveiling and community celebration.
There are many ways to get involved and move this project from idea to fruition: volunteer time, donate a wall, fund the project, and take part. Seed funding was donated by the Oregon Affiliate of the American College of Nurse Midwives.
Artist Facilitator Bios
Carla Wojczuk is an artist and cultural organizer with over fifteen years of experience in arts-based social practice. Her mural work spans from in-depth community oriented collaboration to independent mural projects. Carla holds a MEd in Social Justice Education. The focus of her work prioritizes community building and amplifying grassroots knowledge through arts-based participatory research and storytelling.
Amber Zietz, CNM, MSN is a certified nurse midwife providing full scope women’s health care in English and Spanish languages at the Providence Women’s Clinic, Providence St Vincent Medical Center in Portland, Oregon. She has been empowering women by supporting birth since 1995. Amber received her Certificate in Midwifery and Masters of Science in Nursing at Frontier School of Midwifery and Family Nursing in 2005. She currently leads the midwifery team at Providence Women’s Clinic. In her free time, she enjoys exploring the wilderness with her dog, Mama.
Diana Louise Smith, CNM, MS is a certified nurse-midwife in Portland, Oregon. She provides full-scope reproductive health care in a busy public health practice and works on social and organizational change through the framework of reproductive justice. Diana received her Masters in Science from the University of California, San Francisco. She previously worked with the faculty midwifery practice at the University of New Mexico and the Oregon Health
and Sciences University, and is a clinical preceptor for midwifery students. She served on the board of the ACNM Oregon Affiliate and is Clinical Lead for Legacy Midwifery’s Project Nurture, a pilot program integrating maternity care and substance use treatment. Diana loves to paint.
"Oh, if I could but live another century and see the fruition of all the work for women! There is so much yet to be done."
--Susan B. Anthony