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Thursday, November 23, 2017

“Young Mothers” explores life after teen pregnancy

New "Young Mothers" exhibit explores teen pregnancyNew "Young Mothers" exhibit explores teen pregnancy

Photo from Amanda Mollindo’s “Young Mothers” exhibit: Amy with her children. Photos courtesy of Amanda Mollindo.

A new exhibit explores life after teen pregnancy through a series of photographs featuring Valley mothers who were 19 years old or younger when they had their children.

“Young Mothers” opens Friday, April 17 at Phoenix’s Modified Arts, one of several galleries participating in Phoenix’s First Friday and Third Friday art walks.

The photographs were taken during the past two years by Amanda Mollindo, a senior at Barrett, The Honors College at ASU in Tempe, for her Bachelor of Fine Arts thesis project.

Mollindo also interviewed the mothers she photographed about their lives before and after becoming young parents. All the moms were at least 20 years old when Mollindo spoke with them. The ages of their children now range from 1 to 27. So far, she has interviewed about 20 mothers.

A video featuring portions of those interviews will be shown at the gallery, where text panels accompanying Mollindo’s photos will share details about each mother’s story. She used color film to take the photographs and is creating 30×27-inch prints for the exhibition.

A personal connection

New "Young Mothers" exhibit explores teen pregnancy

Pamela is one of several mothers photographed for the new “Young Mothers” exhibition.

The subject of teen pregnancy is a personal one for 22-year-old Mollindo, who describes the exhibit as “a little bit autobiographical.” Mollindo was born in Yuma when her mother was just 16 years old. “She was fairly comfortable with it,” Mollindo says of her mom.

Mollindo says her mom’s Catholic family was less concerned about her teen pregnancy than they were about her having a child out of wedlock. “It’s different for every family,” she says.

Mollindo recalls having a different perspective as a child than most of her peers—she was raised mostly by her grandparents. “Growing up, I didn’t see families like mine. They weren’t represented in children’s movies.”

Her exhibition provides insights into ways the women she photographed “handled their situations differently and how their lives turned out.”

Mollindo hopes “Young Mothers” helps viewers recognize and appreciate the “incredibly different ways a family can form.”

What you need to know

  • Days and times: Fri April 17-Sat May 9; times vary
  • Admission: Free
  • Location: Modified Arts, 407 E Roosevelt St, Phoenix
  • Contact: 602-462-5516 or modifiedarts.org 
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Lynn Trimble

Lynn Trimble of Scottsdale is an award-winning arts writer and mother of three grown children whose work has appeared in Raising Arizona Kids and Phoenix New Times.

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