Maggie Lawson, GSI, Spring 2018

Although Maggie’s art works take a variety of forms, they all promote reflection and a space for participants and collaborators to inform and sometimes co-create the content of the piece. Joseph Beuys called this a social sculpture or, “A work of art, a social sculpture includes human activity that strives to structure and shape society or the environment.” Her works exist mostly outside of formalized art spaces to engage audiences who might otherwise not seek out contemporary art. Many of the projects have both a utilitarian function, that makes them easily accessible to a wide range of people, and a poetic narrative attached to the experience.

As the lead artist, she can accentuate and broadcast the expressive nature of their forms and the complications of their production. The forms play with easily identifiable cultural icons: takeout windows, block parties, the office secretary, and the neighborhood church, and are determined by the resources found in a particular community. As she develop relationships and recruit collaborators within various groups the forms emerge. Ultimately, the facilitated collective efforts of her audience, her documentation of these reflections and efforts, and her subject’s new awareness promotes personal and community growth.