Photography Exhibit on Work and Family Diversity Makes National Debut at FSU this Month

Photography Exhibit on Work and Family Diversity Makes National Debut at FSU this Month

Nov 1, 2017

Showing (work x family), a 28-foot, six-screen sound and image installation created by Berkeley, California’s Working Assumptions, makes its national debut at the Mazmanian Gallery at Framingham State University, November 7 – December 15, 2017.

The exhibit grand opening and talk with photographer Jane Gottesman, the visionary behind the exhibit, is scheduled for 5 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 7, in the McCarthy Center. The title of her talk is "Picture Imperfect: Photography of the Work x Family Equation."

The exhibition combines landmark commissioned photographs of pregnant women in the workplace, curated work by contemporary photographers who reveal the interplay between work and family, and inspiring imagery by high school photography students who undertook WRKXFMLY, the project’s original photography assignment brought to over 50 schools nationally, including Framingham High School.

The WRKXFMLY assignment asked students to look at how work and family overlap in their own lives. Several schools in the Boston area participated in WRKXFMLY, and students and their families are invited to Framingham State to experience the exhibition.

In coordination with the exhibition, Framingham professors Dr. Virginia Rutter and Dr. Bridgette Sheridan organized a six-week series of events at the university. Included are a keynote panel of several FSU faculty and a multi-disciplinary “teach-in” in more than 60 classes on the theme of family diversity and change.

Rutter, who also serves on the board of the Contemporary Council on Families, first experienced a pop-up prototype of the exhibition in Washington, DC, at the 2016 Work and Family Researchers Network conference. She saw its potential as a catalyst for discussion across disciplines and departments and for Framingham State’s diverse community.

“Family diversity is the new normal in the United States: Sixty years ago the dominant family type was dad at work, mom at home. Today, there is no dominant family type,” notes Rutter, co-editor of Families as They Really Are. “This exhibit recognizes the uncertainty families experience now – that sense of ‘no fixed equation.’ FSU students, faculty, and staff live that. As soon as I saw this show, I saw it as a tool for updated and inclusive conversations about what many scholars have documented is a serious problem in the U.S.: Inadequate resources to respond to all our families.”

The groundbreaking work at Framingham State University, in conjunction with Showing (work x family), will be used as model going forward as the exhibition visits other campuses and venues across the country.

*Front Page Photo Credit: Eve Ball on the Purple Line © 2012 Melissa Ann Pinney, Showing Commission

About Framingham State University

Framingham State University was founded in 1839 as the nation’s first public university for the education of teachers. Since that time, it has evolved into a vibrant, comprehensive liberal arts institution offering small, personalized classes on a beautiful New England campus. Today, the University enrolls more than 6,000 students with 58 undergraduate and graduate degree programs in the arts, humanities, sciences, social sciences and professional fields. As a State College and University (SCU), Framingham State prides itself on quality academic programs, affordability, and commitment to access for all qualified students.