From Our Family to Yours: Happy Mother’s Day

The unconditional love givers. Workers around the clock with no compensation. Our best friends, muses and mentors in life. Honoring motherhood needs no holiday, but on this Mother’s Day we want to honor the significant female figures in our lives by recognizing the role of our mothers in our artistic journeys. Our artists and VIDA team members have shared their stories on how their moms have influenced and inspired them to be strong, creative and independent.

“ Mi madre, is a sincere inspiration both as a role model and a representation of who I am. She exposed me to music, food and the art of our Mexican/Texan heritage. I am constantly reminded that no matter how difficult days can be that I can still fight my way to the top if I work for it. As a Latina, that is everything. She always says “si se puede mija, you can do it!” Today, my art bleeds with color and I can almost pinpoint the songs and memories that triggered each piece I have created. Sometimes she says “I can hear the music in your art!” as if it were a seashell you can hear the ocean with. I use my hands to put more of me into my art just as my mother does with her cooking or sewing. My mother has seen tables without food, a home without parents, and adulthood before teen years – this is why I constantly challenge myself to see the world through different lenses.”

Stephanie Perez, Mixed Media VIDA Artist

“My mother led a life of relentless courage, resourcefulness, and faith during World War II in the Philippines. While my father was a prisoner, she sheltered our family, earned money to build a hut during monsoons, and paid for the transport of less-fortunate evacuees from the invasion and bombings on our islands. Her name was fitting – Justiniana, which means “justice.” She was a professional seamstress and sewed family documents and money in the hems of my siblings’ garments in case they were separated. She followed the Filipino and American troops along the Bataan Death March, to toss food and bananas to them, as she dodged bullets. She was focused not only on surviving, but on providing for her family and strangers. One day, she dressed us in our “Sunday best” to walk to the elegant, sparkling, unharmed Manila Hotel to enjoy a meal while she sold some of her family’s precious jewels to an unknown buyer. She was not just making a financial transaction – she wanted her children to experience a few moments of beauty amid the squalor and death of a war that they encountered almost daily. At her funeral decades later, I stood by her closed casket as a long, silk strand wafted from inside the lid to my sleeve. It would not break. I know that was my mother’s last message to me- to continue the thread of love, hope, strength, and commitment that she sewed into everything she created and imagined.”

Kathy Delumpa Allegri, VIDA Artist

“ I came from a family of scholars. Education takes centre stage and art is considered a hobby. It wasn’t easy to express myself without feeling guilty or anxious. I’d spend more time drawing and making things out of waste than studying. I always managed top grades, thanks to my ability to find a secret creative release from my sketchbook. The only other person who openly and wholeheartedly encouraged my love for art was my mother, something I can’t thank my mom enough for. Her support and positive outlook has shaped me as an artist and a person. My mother is the driving force behind everything artistic I have ever pulled off.”

Sonam Sharma, Actor and Sketch VIDA Artist

“ My daughter, Altara, often pushes me to paint in a style that is filled with energy and love. A mother /daughter collaboration of spirit  We dream of the painting and then I paint.”

Gayle Rappaport, Watercolor, Acrylic, and Mixed Media VIDA Artist

“ I am blessed because I have two mothers. As a child, I watched my birth mother draw her fashion designs on paper. My other mother was my art teacher who discovered me. She created a make-shift studio in a closet of the kindergarten room. She had me paint a photo from a magazine and told me I wasn’t finished until the water was moving. I changed that water so many times. I thank God today to have them in my life.”

Rachel Pope, Visual VIDA Artist

“With sweet love and gratitude I remember Mom taking me by the hand as we walked into a dark Brooklyn Museum in 1951 and enrolled me into a children’s art class. As a New Yorker at the time, my Mom then took me to Macy’s during Christmas week to ask Santa for my first oil painting set – a “Windsor Newton” set in a wooden box. I keep my sketch pencils in it to this day. Mom encouraged me to apply to professional art schools. She accompanied me on a train trip up the coast for an interview at The Rhode Island School of Design, just us two. She stood by me proudly as I graduated NYU and the Parsons School of Design. The joy my work gave her was endless. This picture was taken at “On The Vine,” in St. Helena, CA, where I sold many silk-painted, one-of-a-kind kimono and Art inspired scarves ART scarves.”

Suzanne Silk, Surface Designer, VIDA Artist

“ It’s 1942 in Salt Lake City. My mother is getting on a bus. Me, I wonder what the fuss is about. I realize it’s people looking at mom in her black and white polka dot dress, a white straw hat, white gloves to match, and red lipstick. She did not have a lot of money but always looked like she did. She was my inspiration! “

Karren Reyburn, Mixed Media VIDA Artist

“ My mom instilled in me the confidence and drive to dream big dreams, while always striving to be my personal best self. She taught me to keep my eyes to the skies, while my feet stay grounded firmly to my roots. She taught me to always choose common sense over common opinion – and not care about what others say. She taught me to give generously, care unconditionally, dream daringly, and live a life that matters… I love you, Ammi Jaan. I am who I am today because of who you are and what you mean to me.”

Umaimah Mendhro – Founder, CEO, Mom-in-Chief at VIDA

“My mom inspires me to be better everyday. A better person, a better mom, a better wife, a better friend and a better daughter. I’ve watched her love endlessly, support her family and friends without question and brave thru life when it was not easy. All of it with superhuman powers and a smile. Her childlike enthusiasm and zest for life makes me want to do more, explore more and live more. Everyday she inspires me to seek and discover.”

Tarana Mehta – Head of Brand Partnerships at VIDA

“ My mom and her twin, my aunt, have inspired me with their fearlessness and endless creativity. They are two of the most spirited, quirky, and fun people I’ve ever met. Together they showed me what it means to be a strong woman and their unwavering support has given me the confidence to always trust myself.”

Kelsey Eder – Marketing Manager at VIDA

“ My Mom tells it like it is, keeps her cool, stays active, and has a fantastic sense of humor. She’s reinvented herself on multiple occasions including this year moving across the country, becoming a Master Gardener, and building her dream sustainable house with my Dad. Go Mom go!”

Cameron Preston – Lead Engineer at VIDA