The word empathy has been used often, especially in the last year. But what is empathy? Join FWM Curator Karen Patterson and Artist-in-Residence Samara Golden in conversation with New York Times bestselling author Leslie Jamison to discuss how, where, and when empathy reveals itself.
In her critically acclaimed collection of essays, The Empathy Exams, Jamison posed essential questions about our basic understanding of others: How should we care about one another? How can we feel another person’s pain? Jamison drew from her own experiences to engage in an exploration of empathy extending far beyond her own life. During her residency at The Fabric Workshop and Museum, artist Samara Golden also reflected upon the challenges of personal and collective experience in an investigation of time, history, and memory over the course of a two-year collaboration with the FWM Studio. Inhabiting her own complex role as interlocutor and translator, curator Karen Patterson—with Senior Project Manager Abby Lutz and the FWM Studio team—brought Golden’s artistic vision to life in Upstairs at Steve’s, the mind-bending installation currently on view at The Fabric Workshop and Museum.
From everyday life to contemporary art installations, this panel discussion between writer, artist, and curator will explore the mechanisms behind empathy and its surprising applications, as well as the search for a deeper understanding of ourselves and others.
Following the conversation, catch a behind-the-scenes glimpse into FWM’s print studio with Abby Lutz as she prints the thermochromic (heat activated, color changing) design from Samara Golden’s artist multiple, Storm at Split Rock. This edition of 18 blankets with plaid patterning and contrasting ribbon pattern was printed with thermochromic ink to visually demonstrate touch and connection; the blanket and exhibition catalog for Upstairs at Steve’s (also featuring a cover screenprinted with thermochromic ink) are currently available for purchase through our website or onsite in the museum shop.