The Artist behind the Art – Awai Reveals Her Process

On Saturday, October 15, visitors to the Vilcek Foundation gallery were given a personal tour of Almost Undone, the exhibition currently on view, by the artist, Nicole Awai, accompanied by art historian and exhibition essayist Courtney J. Martin. Ms. Awai reflected on the inspiration behind the intriguing mixed-media pieces in the exhibit, and explained something of the technical process she follows to transform inspiration into finished artwork. Pausing in front of her drawing “Haul,” for instance, Ms. Awai explained that it had its visual roots in a photograph she took in the-to her-unfamiliar landscape of Kohler, Wisconsin, where she was completing a 2008 residency at the John Michael Kohler Arts Center.

Guests also were privy to a stimulating exchange between Ms. Awai and Dr. Martin as they toured the exhibit. Probing questions from Dr. Martin tapped into the core of the artist’s work and served to draw out key elements of her imaginative sensibility. In this way, the artist and art historian wove thematic and conceptual threads between Ms. Awai’s previous work and the new pieces in Almost Undone.

Guests, too, were invited to ask questions and share their impressions about this premiere exhibition, making the event a truly interactive one.


Almost Undone remains on view through October 29th, 2011, with special exhibition hours from 12pm – 6pm on Monday, October 31st.  Exhibition hours: Wednesday – Saturday, 12pm – 6pm, or by appointment.

  • A Message from Jan and Marica Vilcek

    Our founders arrived as penniless refugees over fifty years ago, but with the kindness and opportunity they received in the United States, they went on to accomplish great things in biomedical science and art history. Read their statement on the recent executive order imposing a travel ban.