MOTHER // HOOD is Shelly Leavens’ first solo exhibition – a satirical reflection on the folly of moving into a fixer-upper in South Seattle while holding a baby. Presented as a series of mixed media pieces, Leavens explores the new domestic and what it means to be a good neighbor.
The intuitive process is central to Leavens’ practice, whether in curation or artmaking itself. When a new baby and move to the Othello neighborhood shift Leavens’ perspective sur la vie, all temperance is thrown to the wind and she starts planning solo shows and making cardboard cutouts of nannies and printing gold Rorschach wall paper.
Shelly Leavens is a Cascadia Subduction Zone native, currently living east of I-5 but not entirely out of harm’s way. She is most importantly a mother, but still finds her roles as curator and artist rising to the top. She has a BA in Anthropology and an MA in Museology from Penn State and the University of Washington, respectively. Having worked exclusively at non-profit organizations for the last 12 years, in the arts as a curator and collections manager, and in public history as an oral historian, Leavens utilizes a combination of storytelling, museology, and a grain of salt in her work.