Feel Just Like Home
to Oct 31

Feel Just Like Home

Is someone who lives in temporary housing still homeless? For this project, I explored this question with hand-embroidered internet reviews of the motel where a family member has lived since August 2016. Hung on cheap towel racks, these reviews are embroidered on used linens and bordered by used towels with unfinished raw edges. While the domestic associations with hand embroidery and quilting gesture toward home-making, the unfinished presentation stops short of achieving that goal -- because while my family member is housed, they are not home. 

While this work has personal origins, it has grown much beyond her family member’s story. As Ross-Gotta sorted through the reviews, she became fascinated by what she learned about the community at this motel: from dirty linens and noise complaints, to reviews written by homeless people and reviews that complain about the homeless people who live there. 

Ross-Gotta has color-coded the stars on the reviews to highlight these trends:

Red - drugs, sex workers

Orange - dirt, bugs 

Yellow - linen and towel complaints 

Green - review written by someone who lives there 

Blue - reference to the people who stay there by other reviewers 

Purple - references to danger

Black - no reference in particular

Ross-Gotta welcomes viewers to gently remove the reviews from the towel racks, to sit, read and then carefully replace the reviews when the viewers are finished. 

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Fugitive Shame Exhibition & Artist Talk
to Oct 27

Fugitive Shame Exhibition & Artist Talk


Fugitive Shame

Materials: Crowd-sourced anonymous responses to the question, “What is something that you are ashamed of?,” white t-shirts, and natural pigment derived from locally foraged St. John’s Wort.

Beverly Engel, LMSW, writes about the difference between guilt and shame. While guilt is experienced when we think, “I did something that was not okay, ” shame is experienced when we think, “I, as a person, am not okay.”

Shame is the most debilitating of human emotions. We accrue it through our various life experiences, including abuse, and internalizing it’s damaging rhetoric - allowing it to take up residence within us - can continue to produce feelings of shame long after the shame-producing event has passed. However, shame can be healed when it is met with compassion and non-judgement: by bringing it to the light.

For this project, I have collected this shame-in-residence from anonymous responses to the statement, “I am ashamed of ________ .” Responses included the size of the t-shirt that corresponds to the time at which that shame first occurred to that person.

Then, I printed those responses onto white t-shirts with a highly fugitive natural pigment derived from the medicinal plant St.John’s Wort, noted for its ability to treat anxiety and depression.

Like our shame, fugitive dyes fade when exposed to light.

Viewers will be instructed to turn on the light hanging above the rack as you carefully browse the shirts, and will turn off the light when they finish and leave.

This piece is part of the Centrum Emerging Artist Residency Alumni Show at Northwind Arts Center in Port Townsend.

Opening reception is Oct. 5th from 5:30 - 8:30 pm.

Artist Jaleesa Johnston and I will be giving a talk about our projects in the exhibition Fri, Oct 18th from 7:00 - 9:00 pm.

This project is supported, in part, through Surface Design Association’s Socially Engaged Practices Grant.

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Cicelia Ross-Gotta and Michael Swaine
7:00 PM19:00

Cicelia Ross-Gotta and Michael Swaine

Artists Cicelia Ross-Gotta and Michael Swaine lead a series of short interactive performances that use Ross-Gotta’s current installation at Gramma Poetry, I Love You Are You Okay (2017),  as a point of departure for a collaborative exploration of the intersection of poetry, language and visual art. 

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