Gift of a Moment: Lila Shaw Girvin

October 9, 2022-March 12, 2023

Through ethereal, abstract paintings blending inner and outer worlds, this mini-survey exhibition encompasses the stylistic range of Lila Shaw Girvin’s (b. 1929) practice over nearly six decades. Living and working in Spokane since 1958, Lila Girvin has used vibrant color, form, and unassuming techniques with oil paint to explore new dimensions of feeling − a process largely guided by intuition and informed by the expansiveness of nature.      

Growing up in the Denver, CO area, Lila Girvin developed an early fascination with the compelling ways that the region’s landforms converged with the sky - subject matter that also drew her to Eastern Washington’s Palouse, to which her work would later become devoted. Probing this in-between space is central to Girvin’s practice. As if existing in a dreamlike state, neither conscious nor unconscious, her paintings blend imagery that arises from both memory and instinct.

Visitors will be invited into Girvin’s spiritually rich inner world, quietly cultivated over the course of her life while balancing conventional domestic roles and community engagement. The work on view       represents a  place where artist and audience meet to experience space - the pause between two moments - with presence and spontaneity.

The exhibition’s three sections: Figurative Spaces, Inner and Outer Landscapes, and Moving Toward the Source, will highlight the various ways in which Girvin has found refuge for her emotional and spiritual voice. Figurative Spaces relates Girvin’s worldly experiences with regional activism, Women’s Consciousness, and the joy of new motherhood to her energetic, expressionist early works. Inner and Outer Landscapes re-establishes the landscape not only as a topographical form, but as a physical, temporal, and spiritual location. Moving Toward the Source reflects a third shift in Girvin’s work and      life, in which her paintings take on a uniquely celestial, dimensional quality.

Gift of a Moment: Lila Shaw Girvin is curated by Anne-Claire Mitchell.

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