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Opening Reception: Well-Being Ourselves: Reflect, Reimagine, Connect
September 12 @ 3:00 pm - 6:00 pmFree
Join us for an in-person opening reception at the West Windsor Arts Center of Well-Being Ourselves: Reflect, Reimagine, Connect . View the works in the show and hear from the artists starting at 4:30pm.
In this exhibition, we invited artists to explore well-being in a time of growing awareness around mental health, including emotional, psychological and social aspects. Our shifted context has led to the potential for a revision of well-being. This caused us to ask, “How have conventional concepts reflected this shift for your lived experience? Has this impacted ways you have been able to sustain yourself, your challenges and resilience?”
Recent social justice tides have brought sweeping momentum, action and calls to reimagine justice and movement building. Intersecting legacies of injustice and trauma can impact mental health and well-being. We wanted to know how artmaking reflects interdependence of communities and intersectional identities. We sought art that could envision new ways of being that are relational, fight stigma, dismantle ableism, and uphold disability justice.
Kelly Becker, Terrance Cummings, Jayme Fahrer, Guga, Joseph Goldfedder, Nancie Gunkelman, Barry Hantman, Margaret Kalvar-Bushnell, Ray Kopacz, Nelly Kouzmina, Eleni Litt, Claire Moore, Sara Niroobakhsh, Avani Palkhiwala, Arushi Patel, K. Rose Quayle, Anandi Ramanathan, Joy Sacalis, Rooma Sehar, Aurelle Purdy Sprout, Chanika Svetvilas, Gwynneth VanLaven, Susan Winter, The-0
Chanika Svetvilas and Gwynneth VanLaven
Chanika Svetvilas (chanikasvetvilas.com) is a multidisciplinary artist who utilizes lived experience of mental health difference as a way to create safe spaces, to disrupt stereotypes and to reflect on contemporary issues as a cultural worker. She has presented her work at the annual College Art Association Conference, Society for Disability Studies Conference, and the Pacific Rim International Conference on Disability and Diversity. She has also exhibited at the Denver International Airport, Queens Museum, Jamaica Center for Arts and Learning, ABCNoRio, Brooklyn Public Library, Westbeth Gallery, Islip Art Museum, Asian Arts Initiative, the Wexner Center for the Arts, and Trenton Artworks (upcoming), among other spaces and contexts. She holds an MFA in Interdisciplinary Arts from Goddard College.
Svetvilas is also the co-founder of ThaiLinks, a collective that was based in New York City dedicated to increasing awareness about Thai issues and the Thai American community and co-founder of the biennial Thai Takes film festival, the first Thai film festival in New York State. Her work has been published in Studying Disability Art and Culture, An Introduction by Petra Kuppers, and Wordgathering, A Journal of Disability Poetry and Literature; and Rogue Agent.
Svetvilas’ studio is located at historic Art Station in Hightstown, NJ where she also serves as commissioner for the Hightstown Arts Commission.
Gwynneth VanLaven (www.gwynnethvanlaven.net) is an artist and educator living in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Her art practice includes photography, installation, writing, performance, and social engagement. She celebrates the interdisciplinary with a BA in Multimodal Language, Knox College, and MFA in Critical Art Practice, George Mason University, Fairfax, Virginia. There VanLaven taught at the School of Art until relocating to Michigan. VanLaven’s writing is broadly published from The Washington Post to Performance Research. Gwynneth’s multimedia installation and photographic artwork have been exhibited internationally, and at venues including the Smithsonian Institution and Kennedy Center.
Celebrating art for community and social action, Gwynneth recently worked with students at University of Michigan to redesign the fabric(s) of health institutions. VanLaven is certifying to lead InterPlay and assists for DanceAbility, both inclusive community-building embodiment modalities celebrating curiosity and play. From her experiences with illnesses and disabling accident, she embraces the humor and surprises that can ensue while being “patient.”
Covid Protocols: West Windsor Arts Council will follow NJ State mandated guidelines to maintain appropriate social distancing protocols to prevent the transmission of Covid-19 virus and its variants. Attendees who are not vaccinated and/or uncomfortable wearing masks for long periods should contact the office to discuss other options. During the event, high-touch surfaces will be wiped down frequently using certified antiviral disinfectants. Hand sanitizers will be available in key locations. Attendees will be asked to space themselves 3-6ft. apart and acrylic sneeze guards used, as needed. Staff and teaching artists are vaccinated and will wear masks/face shields. Masks are required for visitors and attendees 2 years and older.