Joana Stillwell: all the windows in my mother’s house

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Gibbs Street Gallery

JOANA STILLWELL: all the windows in my mother’s house

August 23-October 22, 2023
Gibbs Street Gallery

As an artist and archivist, 2023 VisArts Studio Fellow Joana Stillwell is always thinking about memory, perception, what stories get to be told, who gets to tell those stories, and what ultimately gets preserved. Coming from a working-class Filipino immigrant family, not many things were saved from previous generations due to natural disasters and relocations.

For Stillwell’s site-specific installation in the Gibbs Street Gallery, all the window’s in my mother’s house, she attempts to preserve the teal quality of light in her parents’ home. Stillwell additionally resonates on the few surviving mementos from her mother’s side of the family, along with adopted images, found objects, oral histories, home videos, and ephemeral fragments, to build a body of work that explores the tangibility and fragility of a family archive.

About the Artist
Joana Stillwell is an artist and archivist born in the Philippines, raised around the Pacific, and currently based in Washington, DC. She graduated with a BA in art history and a BFA in photomedia from the University of Washington, earned an MFA in kinetic imaging from Virginia Commonwealth University, and received her MLIS from the University of Maryland, College Park.Recent exhibitions and installations include DCAC (Washington, DC), DLECTRICITY (Detroit, MI), Tiger Strikes Asteroid (Greenville, SC), InLight at 1708 Gallery (Richmond, VA), and SOIL (Seattle, WA). Residencies include Mildred’s Lane (Beach Lake, PA), Vermont Studio Center (Johnson, VT), Sirius Arts Centre (Cobh, Ireland), and The Studios at MASS MoCA (North Adams, MA). She was VisArts’ 2023 Studio Fellow (Rockville, MD) through July 25, 2023.

Image: Joana Stillwell, oral history transcript over window video (video still), 2023

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