Authoritative Forms

Sayward Schoonmaker

Authoritative Forms is a participatory poem-object that invites playing and reordering of how formal entities shape and construct our belief systems and assert authority on our ways of being. The work comprises a sheaf of handmade watermarked abaca and cotton paper arranged on a handmade wood table surrounded by work stools. Viewers are invited to take a seat at the table to handle, look at, read, and rearrange the papers. With material, language, and participation, Authoritative Forms aims to play with and interrogate how we individually and collectively create and confer meaning.

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SAYWARD SCHOONMAKER is an artist and educator. Her work has been exhibited across the United States, most recently at Weinberg Newton Gallery, Illinois; the Hyde Collection, New York; and Adds Donna Gallery, Illinois. She is a coauthor of award-winning research on diversity and bias in library information systems and the author of one poetry chapbook, 3259 (Dancing Girl Press). She holds a BS in studio art from Skidmore College, an MFA in fiber and material studies from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and an MLIS from Syracuse University. Sayward’s creative practice, scholarship, and approach to arts administration spring from a common root: a lifelong dedication to exploration, critical engagement, and experimentation. She is currently artistic director of Stone Quarry Hill Art Park, Cazenovia, New York.

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