All posts by gvanlaven

Offering a Workshop!

kitchenWe each carry a powerful experience of the sensate in the present moments of our lives – creative intuition.  Each session of the workshop approaches art making as a sensory practice of discovery.  The sessions help us learn, anchor, and unfold.  We begin with a mindfulness exercise and brief noticing, then time for guided art making with a variety of media.  Critique following will focus on mindful embrace of self and other.

Some philosophy:  VanLaven sees art making as a practice, not ever to be attained or perfected.  It should be an enjoyable journey of discovery.  As she teaches it, the practice is for everybody, connecting each of us to the sometimes strange and surprising wisdoms of the senses.  We look to how they connect us to both our inner lives and the outer world in the present moment.  The workshop participants will participate in a community of discovery.  This entails a focus on mindful, joyous, curious embrace and “non-judgmental stance.”

Workshop details:

We each carry a powerful experience of the sensate in the present moments of our lives – creative intuition.  Each session of the workshop approaches art making as a sensory practice of discovery.  The sessions help us learn, anchor, and unfold.  We begin with a mindfulness exercise and brief noticing, then time for guided art making with a variety of media.  Critique following will focus on mindful embrace of self and other.

Registering is easy

  1. Go to the website:
  2. Find this workshop listing
  3. Register and pay $90 for full 5 sessionsFor questions about the workshop,
    Contact Gwynneth VanLaven:
    gwynneth@vanlaven.net

Solo Show, Woman Made Gallery Chicago

Image result for woman made gallery vanlavenMy solo exhibition, in.visible, opens Friday, March 10, 6-8pm.  The Woman Made Gallery is a beautiful gallery with an incredible legacy.  First check the gallery’s open days and times and use public transportation as the area has *extremely* limited parking.  There will be a concurrent show of work by prior jurists and exhibitors.  Come check out both if you are near.  Friends afar can get a taste of the work in my show via the online exhibition page for in.visible.  Also sign up on the FB event page and feel free to share.

WMG Exhibition Page – Online Gallery

Event Site on Facebook

Still Waiting

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This has been my Quaker meetinghouse since childhood. In graduate school I focused my art on medical waiting rooms. I am drawn to them as these strangely dissociated, floating spaces, intentionally innocuous non-spaces for passing non-time.  I am curious about how we become acculturated/accustomed to behave in specific ways as soon as we enter these holding tanks, and how that might affect our ways of thinking as well.  This, my Quaker worship space, might be considered one of God’s waiting rooms.  We wait for our name to be called– contact with the spirit or “light within.” I wander here, still awkward and uncomfortable with the very notion of worship and religion. I chafe in the silence of waiting. In the still, long silences of our meeting I taste the burden of the unknown and unknowable. It is disquieting, and inner stirrings clash with outer quietude. I scan the simple but charged room for a visual anchor.  The room shifts, or was that I?  We sit; still, waiting.

ArtBeta: Works in Progress — Link to “Still Waiting” Project Portfolio 

 

Waiting Rooms

I have long  been experiencing and researching waiting rooms in their many forms. I am interested in how they are intentionally forgettable spaces, programmed to be non-spaces for non-time, proscribing a very specific way of acting within them.  By constructing my own waiting rooms I work to subvert the experience of waiting for a doctor in a gallery space.  I create a waiting room as an installation that breaks some gallery and waiting room norms with a humorous combination of the familiar and the unexpected.  I use the new, interactive space, as a contemplative playground for ideas, a sort of tactical “safe space” where it becomes safe and encouraged to muse at and challenge the institutional methods that maintain our roles and attitudes around around waiting, and around illness and wellness.

Bare/Witness

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For some time since the event of a car careening into and crushing my body, I have had a special affinity for traffic cones. As distraction from my fearful perception of cars as speeding bullets, I play “spot the cone” as we pass by. I feel somehow at peace in company of my pointy orange friends. I begin to distinguish one from another; they develop characters, each with its own traits, state of newness or of decay. I began to collect them. For my birthday I was gifted me several old souls, and for Easter, a shiny new virgin, plucked up mid-highway and spared from certain demise. My cones and traffic barrels were abandoned to rot in a median, tossed asunder in a tar field, or dragged under a truck on an interstate. Each has its own story told in exhaust grime and battle-scars. And yet, they stand still at attention, holding vigil, bare to the world, to both signal and to witness the presence of vehicular danger.

ArtBeta: Works in Progress – Link to “Bare/Witness” Project Portfolio