Corn Mother Project
History of the Corn Mother Exhibition
The exhibition, and the anthology that goes with it, are based on the Pueblo myth of the Corn Mother, who represents growth, life, creativity, and the feminine aspects of the world. Todd Pierson, master photojournalist, has trekked for over a decade capturing the images of present-day Corn Mothers who have made significant contributions to their communities in the Southwest.
This nationally recognized exhibit has traveled extensively to over a dozen universities and museums throughout Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, and Wyoming in the past decade. The exhibition began in 2007, partly funded by a Rocky Mountain Women’s Institute project grant. It originally included portraits and stories of eight women who were considered Corn Mothers in the Southwest. Motivated by the concern that as the region’s populations grew, the history and stories of significant women who formed the foundation of their communities would be forgotten, the exhibition expanded to 29 women after receiving a 2009 Colorado Endowment for the Humanities grant.
In 2016, six new women from the San Luis Valley were inducted for the Adams State University exhibition. With the 2019 induction of six Pueblo, Co. women, the exhibition now boasts and impressive 46 astounding portraits, as well as a full-color printed anthology that includes the women’s pictures, biographies, philosophies, and life sayings, as well as a story by each honoree about her own Corn Mother (a woman who influenced and mentored her). In Sept. 2022 the exhibition will be hosted at the History Colorado Denver location for an entire year.