Whether making a mark on paper, a sculpture for the gallery wall, or an intervention in the public realm, San Antonio-based Ethel Shipton challenges context and draws on the power of the unexpected. In one series, she upholsters basketball hoops, skateboards, baseballs, and axes with colorful vinyl, boldly feminizing traditionally masculine objects. For a public commission at a newly built San Antonio bus transfer, Shipton tinted the station’s windows blue, yellow, red, and green, and applied the words “GRACE,” “LISTEN,” “TALK,” and “FORWARD.” These evocative gestures both softened and activated the otherwise stagnant waiting room, encouraging interaction between the waiting strangers.
Shipton’s work has been featured in solo exhibitions at venues throughout San Antonio, TX, including RC Gallery (2001); Cactus Bra Gallery (2000); and Sala Diaz (2000). Her recent group projects include Stitch in Time, Women and Their Work, Austin, TX (2005); Piecework, Dallas Center for Contemporary Art, TX (2004); and Analia Segal and Ethel Shipton: Feminizing forms?, Finesilver Gallery, San Antonio, TX (2003). In 1999-2000 the artist was director of The Project Room Space, San Antonio, Texas.