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December 16, 2019

January Art Show: Suiko Betsy McCall

January 1 – 31 in the Art Lounge at 300 Page Street, SF, 94102
Reception: Friday, January 3, 7 – 9 pm

Artist Statement

I am art for art that catches your breath, that flies your hand to your heart, or to the arm of the person standing next to you. I am for art that connects.

I am for art that extends the exhale, that reminds you of your feet, that releases the tension in your face.

I am for art that plants you and keeps you buried until you feel the intimate stroke, a caress so tender it can only come from a tree who is 50% your mother, 50% your lover.

I am for art that speaks beyond language, that cuts through language, that dances with language. I am for art that plays and while laughing, delivers something that resounds, something that has never been contained by language, something beyond ancient-ness, something utterly familiar.

I am for art that releases the desire to make something beautiful, something smart, something that will touch people.

I am for art that walks through walls. I am for art that crunches like fallen leaves underfoot, that burns like whiskey, that melts like feline underbelly fur between fingers.

I am for art that leads you to place yourself somewhere safe with the big you wrapping their arms around the little you. I am for art that heals.

I am for art that gets the heart pumping, that elicits screams like a plunge into a river in the early morning, that prickles the skin as the blood races beneath it. I am for art that touches on expansive stillness. I am for art of the moon.

I am for art that lights fires. Not just any fires but the council fires. I am for art that calls us to council. I am for art that calls you to council. I am for the call to council.

I am for art that reveals your own sense of what is rising right now. I am for art that clearly connects the dots without making anything obvious. I am for art that gets you out of bed because the words start streaming through your veins.

I am for art that takes you beyond. I am for art that bows to your expansiveness. I am for art that knows you already know this. I am for art that loves.

I am for love.

I am for art that keeps flowing through even when the maker doesn’t know what comes next. I am for art that lets the ink do what it wants. I am for art that collaborates with the more-than-human world.

I am for art the lets it all fall apart. I am for art that patiently sews it back together. I am for art that blows open the doors. I am for art that touches your hair gently. I am for art that lands in the internal space without leaving a trace of how it arrived. I am for art that grows and shifts and creeps.

I am for light on water.

I am for art that loves those who came before, those who have hurt us, those who have a hard time forgiving. I am for art that breathes the breath of dawn. I am for art that gives up all hope for a better past. I am for art that feels the heat rise. I am for art that tries it out. I am for art that sets us all free.

I am for art that says YES. I am for art that points to the stars that are invisibly sparkling all day long. I am for art that teaches us to walk in the dark, moving with the fear instead of from it. I am for art that leads us away from screens. I am for art that creates an extra moment of eye contact. I am for art that lives in the present moment. I am for art that enlongates the exhale.

I am for art.

Artist Bio

Raised in Buffalo, New York, and garnering degrees from Yale University and San Francisco Art Institute, I bring my experience as a competitive synchronized swimmer, professional knitter, and co-founder of the Art Monastery Project to inform my work. Investigating the relationships among contemplative practice, studio practice, and other kinds of practice (such as swim practice), my work explores breath, repetition, and pattern. My visual work—which takes the form of meditative “breath paintings,” pattern-based paintings on paper—has been exhibited from San Francisco and New York to Amsterdam and London.

In 2007, I co-founded the Art Monastery Project, an international non-profit arts organization dedicated to applying the collaborative and intentional “social sculpture” of monastic life to art-making and creativity. Through the Art Monastery, I have organized a variety of immersive experiences, ranging from day-long to month-long immersions in silence, meditation practice, and experiences aimed at cultivating connection with one’s authentic voice.

In July 2013, I published a book, Hosting Transformation: Stories from the Edge of Changemaking, which I co-authored, co-edited, designed, and illustrated. In March 2017, I published a workbook, Live Your Dream: Start Here. Start Now, which I authored, edited, designed, and illustrated.

I am a founding member of the International Partnership for Transformative Learning.

I lived in various locations throughout Italy from 2008 to 2013, with a group of artists transforming historic monasteries into arts production centers as part of the Art Monastery. From 2014 to 2018, I split my time between Green Gulch Farm / Green Dragon Zen Temple (near San Francisco, CA) and Art Monastery Vermont in Springfield, VT. I currently live full time at Art Monastery Vermont.

artmonastery.org / suiko.art