Teaching Artists’ Lounge: Mini Artist Talks (Round 4)

We’re belatedly sharing out about the inspiring artist talks from our January meeting. It was such a pleasure to meet more incredible artists and hear about their work, journey, and creative process. Huge thank you to Helen Driver, Chanika Svetvilas, Claire Sherwood, and Jess Self for sharing!! See more about each of them below.

Thank you also to everyone who joined us to hear from these artists. If you’d like to come to future Teaching Artists’ Lounge meetings, you can follow us on Eventbrite where we set up each event: teachingartistslounge.eventbrite.com

Here’s a bit about the artists who shared in January:

Helen Driver

Helen Driver runs the Rising Space, an ethical art and wellness studio offering artisan wall decor and nourishing gatherings to bring balance to you, your home, and your loved ones.

Sustainable and mindful gifts, art prints, and commissions are lovingly hand-crafted in London and professionally printed in the UK. Each piece evokes a message about the importance of connection and self-care.

Guided meditations, cacao ceremonies, and private gatherings are held in immersive London spaces and online.

The Rising Space is a one-stop-shop for slow living in a fast-paced world.

IG: @therisingspace / Website: www.therisingspace.co.uk

See Each Other

Chanika Svetvilas

Chanika Svetvilas (she/her/hers) is an interdisciplinary artist based in Princeton, NJ who utilizes lived experience to create safe spaces, to disrupt stereotypes, and to reflect on contemporary issues. 

She has presented her interdisciplinary work at ABC NoRio, Brooklyn Public Library, Westbeth Gallery, Denver International Airport, Asian Arts Initiative, Islip Art Museum, Jamaica Center for Arts and Learning, Plainsboro Public Library, and conferences including the Society for Disability Studies, Pacific Rim International Conference on Disability and Diversity, and College Art Association, among other spaces and contexts. Her work is also included in Studying Disability Arts and Culture: An Introduction by Petra Kuppers and published in Wordgathering and Rogue Agent. 

She is the recipient of the New York State Arts Council’s Decentralization Grant and the Foundation for Contemporary Arts Emergency Grant. She holds an MFA in Interdisciplinary Arts from Goddard College. She is curator for the annual exhibition, Unique Minds: Creative Voices, at Princeton University and presented by the Graduate Student Government Mental Health Initiative. Svetvilas is also co-founder of ThaiLinks and Thai Takes, the first biennial Thai film festival in New York City. 

IG: @chanikasvetvilas / Website: www.chanikasvetvilas.com

What I have learned (We will Not Be Silent), 2021, charcoal on lined paper – Chanika Svetvilas

Claire Sherwood

Claire Sherwood received her M.F.A. from the University of Maryland as a David C Driskell fellowship recipient in 2003. Her work has been exhibited extensively throughout the United States in venues such as the U.S. Smithsonian National Botanic Garden, the Corcoran Museum of Art, Delaware Center for the Contemporary Arts, Grounds for Sculpture, as well as many galleries, museums and colleges across the country. 

Sherwood has received numerous awards, grants and residencies for her artwork; she currently resides in upstate New York where she teaches K-8 art at Robert C. Parker School; an independent progressive day school.

IG: @Clairesherwoodstudio / Website: clairesherwood.com

Jess Self

Jess Self recently completed her M.F.A at Georgia State University and is a recipient of the prestigious Elizabeth Greenshields Foundation Award. She primarily makes figurative sculptures and loves to incorporate textiles, mysticism, and cultural content. 

Much of her early work, made completely of needle-felted wool, touched on themes of trauma and abuse. This work has been exhibited multiple times and has received positive reviews in several publications such as Create Magazine, Fiber Art Now, and Emergency Index. 

How we build emotional bonds with each other is one of her central concerns. In addition to making work for exhibition, she enjoys teaching workshops and participating in craft shows. 

IG: @art.felt.jess / Website: www.jesslself.com

Mother Martyr