United States of America

Char Schwall
#6: Future

02.06.21 30.06.21

Char Schwall is a visual artist in the areas of painting, drawing and fiber arts; she is also an arts educator with extensive experience in multidisciplinary education. Her work investigates the natural environment, principles of growth and organic systems and color as a language. Her most recent body of work addresses ideas of gender identity and the fluidity of subjectivities through body/brain connections. As an early childhood educator, Schwall has extensively studied the educational system in the municipality of Reggio-Emilia, Italy, and co-edited and co-authored the book In the Spirit of the Studio: Learning from the Atelier of Reggio Emilia. During the COVID-19 crisis, she sewed masks as a volunteer for KC Helps and The Sewing Labs in Kansas City.


Char Schwall’s creative practice is an exploration of two material languages: paint and textiles. By placing two material languages (two material bodies of knowledge) in conversation with one another, her work investigates concepts of surface, gendered space, fluidity, and overall softness. The aesthetic trajectory in the work is one of openness, growth, the expansion of organic systems and morphology. The writing of French philosopher Luce Irigaray, who explores the complex, and sometimes controversial, relationship between the feminine and the fluid, also inspires her work. Schwall’s aesthetic seeks to create places of openness, of a relation to the other; a generative place where birth and rebirth can continuously prevail. Through these visual actions, the works embody a womb-space, a gendered space that reveals multiple states of transition.


I began the #FUTURE program with questions that addressed gender implications of different media and materials: is sewing a feminine art or not? Do materials have a culturally implied gender or not? I first investigated these questions through digital collages, using imagery of fiber arts, garments and gender transformation through images and sketches of the brain. These collages envision a new body of work that addresses the mind-body aspect of transgender experience.

For my collaborative group with Beth Grabowski and Clare Thomas, we created a project that had several different stages. The project, Woman As, consisted of us each buying second-hand clothes in thrift shops, transforming the garments and then giving them away to someone or back to the shops. Processes of memory, empathy and collaboration were key ideas.

The garments that I chose to transform were connected to stories and desires from my childhood, and addressed desires from the past that were restricted due to gender normativity. The transformed garments will have a new future, as they will be owned and used by someone new. Our group also created a sewing circle to reenact Woman’s collaborative traditions as well. The sewing circle was documented through video recording. The work I have created, or co-created, as part of the #FUTURE program will inform my creative practice for years to come.

Char Schwall
1964 | Denver, Colorado, USA
Lives and works in Kansas City, Missouri, USA

1991 | MFA, Washington University, St. Louis, Missouri, USA
1987 | BFA, Kansas City Art Institute, Kansas City, Missouri, USA

2021 | Sea Lover, Bruno David Gallery, St. Louis, Missouri, USA
2021 | Kansas City Flatfile & Digital Flatfile, H&R Block Artspace, Kansas City, Missouri, USA
2021 | Bilingual: Abstract & Figurative, Bruno David Gallery, St. Louis, Missouri, USA
2017 |  Breaking, Splitting, Seaming, Bruno David Gallery, St. Louis, Missouri, USA

2012 | The Ragdale Foundation, artist residency, Lake Forest, Illinois, USA
2010 | Vermont Studio Center, artist residency, Johnson, Vermont, USA

2009 | National Endowment for the Arts grant, Ranch Arts Center, Art Educator Institute residency, Snowmass, Colorado, USA

Related Activities

Encounters, Exhibitions

#6 | FUTURE: results
Artists in dialogue


“We must begin to educate ourselves, no longer in the critical exercise, but in the propositional abundance of ideas and worlds. That is the now of tomorrow ” CHUS MARTÍNEZ

#FUTURE (English cohort) was a new session of Together Apart through which we embarked into different considerations and proposals about and for the future. Taking as a framework artistic and conceptual references in relation to utopian and situated futures, the international cohort of artists worked individually and in collaboration, addressing the main theme through artistic practice, collective discussions and conceptual frameworks. This was a specially interesting cohort in regards to the articulation of disciplines and technologies. The working proposals were approached by creations that included printmaking to new media arts, textile arts and sustainable practices, including architecture and design. To mention only a few of the statements that the artists proposed, future was addressed as the negative space that implies how a form might move into it, future is the feeling of anticipation, future is the will to get back cancelled desires, future is transformation, future is restoration, future is expanding the present, future is a wheel spinning in its axis…

Transformation as a process to evoke the future was central in the work of many artists: transformation of materials (reuse, recycle, repetition, erasure), transformation of subjectivities (due to personal will or to external experiences) including gender transformation and approaches to transformations in our brain and body structures.

What other temporalities does the nature offer? Artists approached nature as the main master to explore life cycles, continuities of transformation and an endless source of wonder.

Nature and culture, considered in an imbricate dialogue and not as separate, allowed us to think in different timelines. Artists chose to work in collaboration with nature, from creating working materials from natural resources, as producing paper with plants, using poisonous leaves for an artistic gesture or exposing the artwork to outside atmospheric conditions for long periods of time.

The future of our artistic practices were also considered from proposals which would only unravel in the future or by creating a testament for the future distribution of artwork, even through taking care of the waste that art produces.

On July 14th we will make a public online presentation of all the collaborations which were initiated through this online programme and we will continue exploring through the practice such challenging and fundamental questions related to the future.

DANIELA RUIZ MORENO | Curator-in-Residence

July 14th, 2021
4PM GMT-3 | Argentina

Alicia Candiani
General Coordinator
Andrés Knob
Daniela Ruiz Moreno, connecting from Madrid, Spain
Guest Speaker
Joseph Scheer, connecting from Alfred, NY, USA
Alen Iglesias

Diaa Ahmedien | Cairo, Egypt
Christopher Bradd | Toronto, Canada
Jess Carlock | Portland, OR, USA
Lindsey Clark Ryan | USA
Lucio Gorzalczany | Buenos Aires, Argentina
Beth Grabowski | Chapel Hill, NC, USA
Trisha Gupta | Burtonsville, USA
Lorena Pradal | Zárate, Argentina
Claudia Roselli | Florence, Italy
Carrie Scanga |Portland, Maine, USA
Char Schwall | Kansas City, MO, USA
Rachel Singel | Louisville, Kentucky, USA
Kelsey Stephenson | Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
Clare Thomas  |Victoria, BC, Canada
Gerry Trilling |Kansas City, MO, USA


Artist-in-Residence International Program

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International Airport

Ministro Pistarini- Ezeiza (EZE)
Buenos Aires
45' to 60' trip

Domestic Airport

Aeroparque Jorge Newbery
Buenos Aires


38, 39, 41, 42, 59, 63, 65, 67, 68, 151, 152, 161, 184, 194 and 168 (stop in the front door)


D Line (Green)
Olleros Station (4 blocks, 4')


Mitre Line (either to Leon Suarez or Mitre)
Colegiales Station (1 block, 1')

The Latin America's Paris

Buenos Aires is Argentine Republic's capital city. With 15,000,000 inhabitants, it is one of the largest cities in Latin America and one of the 10 most populous urban centers in the world. Its cosmopolitan and urban character vibrates to the rhythm of a great cultural offer that includes monuments, churches, museums, art galleries, opera, music and theaters; squares, parks and gardens with old groves; characteristic neighborhoods; large shopping centers and fairs. Here we also find a very good lodging facilities, with accommodation ranging from hostels to five-star hotels of the main international chains. Buenos Aires also show off about its variety of restaurants with all the cuisines of the world, as well as to have cafes and flower kiosks on every corner.

A neighborhood founded on the Jesuit farms in the 17th century

We are located in Colegiales neighborhood where the tree-lined streets, some of which still have their original cobblestones, invite you to walk. Although the apartment buildings advance, low houses still predominate. It is a district of the city where about 20 TV production companies, design studios, artist workshops and the Rock&Pop radio have been located. The neighborhood also has six squares, one of which pays homage to Mafalda, the Flea Market, shops, restaurants and cafes like its neighboring Barrios de Palermo and Belgrano, with which it limits.

Artist-in-Residence International Program

2024 Open Call #2
Residencies 2024

April 30th, 2024

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