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9/1 - 10/21, 2017: Sarah Paulsen "White Ghosts"

Free & open to the public during gallery hours
Opening Reception on 9/1 during First Fridays (6-9pm)
Artist Lecture on 10/8 (1-2pm)

9/1 - 10/21, 2017: Sarah Paulsen

Sarah Paulsen
"White Ghosts"

On display 9/1 - 10/21, 2017
Opening Reception on 9/1 during First Fridays (6-9pm)
Artist Lecture on 10/8 in the studio (1-2pm)


Artist Statement
Through books and films, I have sought to deepen my understanding of the invention of race in the U.S. and started to recognize and acknowledge unspoken white cultural values. I began to illustrate these values using collaged imagery in the series hidden white norms.

As a result of my investigation, I began to have a sense of longing to answer questions about my ethnic heritage and cultural identity. I wanted to find out who my ancestors were and what had been lost as a result of their immigrant assimilation, and what, if anything, remained of their cultural traditions.

Finding myself with the uncomfortable, empty sense that I had no culture, I explained these feelings to an Irish visitor and she said, “and yet there is so much culture in the U.S.” Although her statement felt true, when I tried to describe it, I couldn’t name my family’s culture. This lack of understanding, led me to search my family’s photographs where I began to pinpoint and catalogue, the repeated traditions, and rituals my family documented. Here, I felt I started to piece together a sense of my culture, one that extended beyond my family into the circles of my community of friends. Painting these images in a small format, I wanted these painting to have the feel of a polaroid

The show title, White Ghosts, is meant to evoke- the name Native Americans gave to early white settlers, the elusive search for ancestral identity, and the historical and foreboding erasure of ethnic identity that occurred for many immigrants as they assumed a white identity in the U.S.

European immigrant communities left behind their ethnic heritage as they adopted a white identity as a survival technique. Dominant white culture has not often been described or viewed as being or having culture, because it is considered the norm, although it’s hidden