Carly Swenson • Intuitive Artist

exhibition: warm spring 6

I recently joined Women’s Art Resources of Minnesota (WARM). I’m still struggling to find a fit in the visual arts community in the Twin Cities. I’ve met a couple wonderful women who were members and figured as a fellow feminist artist it was certainly worth joining to connect with other artistically-inclined women. Each spring, WARM hosts a new members exhibition, and two of my Bloodwork pieces were included. The years show was held at The Show Gallery Lowertown in Saint Paul, MN.

Each artist was given a couple minutes to speak about their work, if they chose. I’m always charmingly (I hope?) awkward speaking in public and/or talking about my art. Now combine that uncomfortable, with my self-awareness of the fact that talking about menstruation is a socially inappropriate. Even though, I’m pretty sure my voice was a bit shaky, it’s important to give my Boodwork a context. I assume when viewers read an artist is painting with menstrual blood, they imagine someone particularly eccentric and perhaps disconnected from reality and social norms.

Trust, 2019 (Left) • Bored, 2018 (Right) • 12in x 16in • Graphite, India ink, Menstrual Blood on paper • Carly Swenson

Anyway, the opening went well, and I was grateful to have a couple wonderful friends check it out. Other talented women had some very stunning work on display. It’s always inspiring to be among other female-identifying artists of different ages and stages in their careers. One artist was fourteen, which I loved. I wish I’d had to confidence to seek out artistic opportunities at that age (not that rural Montana probably had many). Another young woman had just completed high school, again–so awesome to start delving into art so young. A couple other women were also just starting to explore their love of art. In turn, there were other artists like me, fine-tuning their individual styles after years working of in the arts. It’s beautiful to see.


This show is on display through May 26, 2019 at The Show Gallery Lowertown, 346 N Sibley St., St. Paul, MN, 55101.

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