Mommies Vs Aunties 2022

Naomi Chambers
oil on canvas, sheet, chenille patches, cement, plastic hearts (candy dispensers), 1995 Power Ranger Happy Meal toy, goal, rhinestone net, swan planters

Focus on a particular (or vague) goal while walking through this exhibit. Weave in and out of the cones… pass off to a companion or not… walk through the goal. Realize your goals for yourself. Play.


I remember my mother making many occasions for us to play. I know she enjoyed these moments, but she didn’t usually play as well. 

I wanted Moms to play. I wanted Moms to play with each other.  I wanted us to play with one of our closest co-conspirators, Aunties. When my mom needed advice, to storytell, to watch, to buy, to cook, to drop off, to go with… she would phone an Auntie. I also listened to my Aunties on car rides home or weekend resets in the house. They also needed to play. 

Play like  

Anita Baker
Stephanie Mills
Dionne Warwick
Chaka Khan
Gladys Knight
Jennifer Holliday
Denise Williams
Dolly Parton
Teena Marie
Mary J Blige
Playing and holding me dear at once
Take a break Mama. Call Auntie and take a load off. 

I’ve been an Auntie longer than I’ve been a Mother. I’ve touched Auntie status 2 years after I last played soccer but still harnessed that energy. As a Mom I’m fighting for that agility. That fire that I had as an Auntie.  

Playing soccer as a youth we were there for each other. We all knew our roles and trained to be in tandem with each other in our respective roles. Our common goal was to win together. To be the best we could be individually to make the unit whole. I think as a Mother I need a network similar to that so we can make the next years on earth better for all. 

I’ve been an Auntie since 2006. As an Auntie I learned how to appear when needed, give the gifts that were wanted (needed for the spirit). I could curb tantrums and immerse the baby in depths of my deepest affection with nonstop fun… at least til Mommy came. It was all fun and games. Mommy and baby’s bond was something else entirely. Both blends of love were needed to fill the baby up. 

Aunties Vs Mommies are an opportunity for us to expand and explore our care pods for ourselves as Mothers… as Aunties… as women that have a relationship with the youth. The humans that will continue where we leave off.  

Aunties and Mommies met up to stretch (stay flexible, open hips), share goals, “make goals,” learn to juggle (we do this already), practice “passing” (share duty), create our own team chants and play casual soccer games (Aunties vs Mommies) and ultimately remind ourselves how important it is to play together. How important it is for our children to witness us playing. 

Focus on a particular (or vague) goal while walking through this exhibit. Weave in and out of the cones… pass off to a companion or not… walk through the goal. Realize your goals for yourself. Play. 

Artist Statement

Naomi Chambers (b. 1987, Pittsburgh, United States) is a painter, sculptor, installation, and mixed media artist who lives and works in Pittsburgh. She works in these media because they are the best vehicles for her messages of love and survival and these mediums allow for maximum enjoyment of artmaking and play. These mediums work best for her brain. Naomi is a visual artist dedicated to discovering her capabilities in this human experience. Naomi is inspired by the magic and intelligence of Harriet Tubman, the communal spirit and philosophy of Huey P Newton and the Black Panther Party because they had a unique impact on the current Black world and altered the world in a positive way. Naomi is also inspired by Blackness in general… everyday Black people and their ways of life. Blackness is so open source. This is another reason why she uses reusable materials in much of her work… she believes it is a part of her duty to think about new ways to reuse what we have. She believes in bringing the life energy and stories of used materials and everyday objects into her art.   

Beside creating studio work she creates art merchandise under the moniker and brand, BirthdayGirl, SugarFoot, andGG. She holds a community practice through a community art studio called FlowerHouse. She creates art that documents specific and nonspecific events, places, and people in her life. She enjoys dealing with patterns, idea conception, and narrative. Art is a personal vent, mental exercise, and entertainment to her. Naomi is a maximalist. Her work is usually layered with multiple concepts because it is reflective of her desire to manage the complexities of her life while connecting to others. She enjoys most when others make a connection to her work. She uses bright colors and borrowing kawaii language to further convey explicit messages of love and adoration of Black and Brown people. Dealing with her nature to nurture and provide abundance for herself and loved ones, her work centers greatly on those themes. She hopes for future opportunities to continue her exploration, and looks forward to fulfilling her call in the arts and social entrepreneurship.  

“I want my work to fill people up with love, hope, and wonder like my favorite artists do for me. It’s about the creation of possibilities… new worlds we create for ourselves, not solely the one we were born to.” 

About the Artist

Naomi Chambers is a painter and sculptor born in Pittsburgh in 1987. She graduated with a double degree from the University of Pittsburgh majoring in Studio Arts and Marketing in 2009. In 2017, she and her husband worked with a collective of artists to open FlowerHouse, a community art studio and creative space in Wilkinsburg where they offer workshops for the predominantly Black community. In 2018, she had her first solo exhibition, Communal Futures at an arts institution, August Wilson Center: African American Cultural Center. She is currently Community Liaison with Alisha Wormsley’s Sibyls Shrine, a residency for creative mamas.