Shawn was born in Ann Arbor, MI, and has lived and worked in steamy New Orleans since 1997. She holds an MFA from the Maryland Institute College of Art where she was a Patricia Harris Fellow, a BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and an AS in Science from Delta College in MI (whose underpinnings have never left her). She has been in residence at School 33 in Baltimore, in NYC through the LMCC, in Los Angeles at 18th Street Art Center, and recently at the Santa Fe Art Institute in New Mexico. Exhibitions include the Contemporary Art Center and the Ogden Museum of Southern Art in New Orleans, Wolfson Gallery at Miami Dade, FL, N.A.M.E. in Chicago, The Hewitt Gallery and Bronx River Art Center in NYC, Van Brunt Gallery in Beacon, NY, G.U.M+D Gallery in Dallas, TX, Williams Tower Gallery in Houston, TX, The Red Arrow in Nashville, TN and Chateau de La Napoule, in Mandelieu, France. Her work has been reviewed nationally in Art Papers, New Art Examiner, dialogue and Pelican Bomb. She is a part of the permanent collection of the Ogden Museum of Southern Art in New Orleans, Linklaters Corporate collection in NYC, and numerous private collections throughout the United States and Europe. Shawn is represented by Cole Pratt Gallery in New Orleans, and The Red Arrow in Nashville.
I am a multidisciplinary artist who has developed an expanded practice that includes painting, installation, time-based media and environmental research and outreach. I view my practice as act of participation in the biological world through the interplay of intuition and action, which is fundamental to making my work. Everything is an event in nature and I locate myself implicitly within the framework of the organism[s] we are a part of. One cannot fully or easily explain an intuitive process and the rhythms of a practice that is based on trusting one’s intuition and not a pre-determined concept. Parameters assert themselves, and morph when they are no longer fruitful. The foundation of my work is formed from fieldwork in the natural world and the research that follows. From observing insects and fungus to water and light, it’s clear to me that what is within and without us is teaming with drama that we are just a small part of, and often only understand a small part of. To a large extent my work is a kind of homage to this fact.