The Waiting Room
Robin Lasser, and
In collaboration with artists and communities
in the Midwest and nationally.
November 6 – December 19, 2010
Monday - Friday: 8:00 a.m. - 8:00 p.m
Saturday, Sunday: Noon - 6:00 p.m.
Closing Early Wed., Nov. 24 at 6:00 p.m.
Closed November 25 – 28.
Gallery & events are free & open to the public.
Milagro Workshop: November 6, 1 – 4 p.m.
Installation Gallery 1
Installation Gallery 2
November 6, 5:00 – 7:30PM
Gallery Talk with
Bruce Scherting, and
November 6, 5:00 – 7:30PM
This mixed media installation incorporates sculpture, sound, and image. It senstively examines the nature of women’s health in Western culture.
The Waiting Room presents a variety of perspectives on particular health issues for women exploring how the history of defining, diagnosing and treating women medically and psychologically parallels the history of women’s rights, the aim of the project is to empower, evoke empathy, stimulate critical dialogue, and ultimately foster more holistic health care attitudes and practices. As a cross-disciplinary installation, the exhibition synthesizes personal narrative with cultural/historical research and community outreach.
As a multi-media installation, the project reinterprets typical waiting rooms by essentially turning them inside out. Typically hidden information and emotion is displayed, and honored or examined. Anchoring the installation are four theatrical tableaus, each representing a specific condition: breast cancer, an eating disorder, depression or dementia. Each tableau contains a hybridized, sculptural chair upholstered with a symbolically patterned fabric, an expressively designed garment, a floor covering of composed object collections, and audio recordings of patient/caretaker stories or abstract sound pieces. An empty, unaltered or ‘generic’ chair sits right beside each tableau, inviting viewers to insert themselves into the complex and intense health care situation.
Community participation may take several forms: a granny square installation knit or crocheted in the memory of friends or loved ones who have suffered from dementia or for their caretakers; bracelets made in response to struggles with and associated with eating disorders; and “Milagros” or “Ex Votos” health charms that fill a wall offerings honesty, hope and healing. Viewers are encouraged to consider their own related experiences and contribute their own creative efforts to the project at several collaboration stations throughout the space. These installation components will expand as members of each community the project visits donate their own small works and stories.
The final component of the installation is a collection of books and artifacts associated with the issues presented. Presented on shelves and on the wall are topical and iconic books, magazines, and pamphlets, as well as promotional products, advertising give–aways, memorabilia and gifts. The presentation is neutral, and the viewer is asked to draw their own conclusions. How can advertising campaigns and resource materials help? What builds awareness, comforts, exploits? A web crawler searches for terms on social networking and professional medical sites and projects the data stream on a wall. What is the value of this information, is it empowering or confusing or both?
Principal artist collaborators include project leader Marguerite Perret, mixed media installation artist, designer, and Associate Professor of Art and Design at Washburn University, Topeka, KS; Bruce Scherting, Director of Exhibits at the University of Kansas Biodiversity Institute Natural History Museum, Lawrence, KS; Stephanie Lanter, ceramic and fiber sculptor, writer and Visiting Catron Professor of Art at Washburn University, Topeka, KS; and Robin Lasser, installation artist, photographer, and sound artist, Professor of Art at San Jose State University, Oakland, CA.
Creative production partners include Joanne Bergman, Dr. Sharon Sullivan, Michael Hager, Timo McIntosh, and Dr. Barbara Dunn, as well as “A Waiting Room of One’s Own” (forthcoming book) editor Sarah Smarsh, journalist, editor and Assistant Professor of English at Washburn University, Topeka, KS. Contributors include Connie Burkett, Dan Coburn, and Betsy Roe. Financial and other essential support for this project is through the artists and partners, the University of Saint Catherine, The Salina Art Center, and grants from Washburn University and the Kansas Arts Commission.
For more information regarding the exhibition, please contact Kathy Daniels, Gallery Director at:
For more information about this project, please consult the Waiting Room website at:
For more information about the Waiting Room project contact: