“where are we going?”

Ethel Shipton

Exhibition: Jun 15 – Sep 10, 2006

For her WindowWorks project, Shipton again engages the public with a text-based work, posing the question “where are we going?” in large, red vinyl letters applied to the windows at Artpace San Antonio on 445 North Main Avenue and a satellite downtown space at 306 East Houston Street Hovering like road signs or thought bubbles next to contour drawings of highways, her words signal passersby to slow down and become conscious agents in the quickening currents of life. Exposed to pedestrian and city traffic, WHERE ARE WE GOING poignantly asks viewers to reflect on both personal directions and social trajectories, to consider both the immediate journey and the greater goal.


Ethel Shipton

San Antonio, Texas, USA

Whether making a mark on paper, a sculpture for the gallery wall, or an intervention in the public realm, San Antonio-based Ethel Shipton challenges context and draws on the power of the unexpected. In one series, she upholsters basketball hoops, skateboards, baseballs, and axes with colorful vinyl, boldly feminizing traditionally masculine objects. For a public commission at a newly built San Antonio bus transfer, Shipton tinted the station’s windows blue, yellow, red, and green, and applied the words “GRACE,” “LISTEN,” “TALK,” and “FORWARD.” These evocative gestures both softened and activated the otherwise stagnant waiting room, encouraging interaction between the waiting strangers.
Shipton’s work has been featured in solo exhibitions at venues throughout San Antonio, TX, including RC Gallery (2001); Cactus Bra Gallery (2000); and Sala Diaz (2000). Her recent group projects include Stitch in Time, Women and Their Work, Austin, TX (2005); Piecework, Dallas Center for Contemporary Art, TX (2004); and Analia Segal and Ethel Shipton: Feminizing forms?, Finesilver Gallery, San Antonio, TX (2003). In 1999-2000 the artist was director of The Project Room Space, San Antonio, Texas.

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