Nicole Shaver ’17

Conversations with one another, materials and space can open up the way we see, think and do. Seeing, thinking and doing are not separate activities but a means to infinite potential that each situation and everyone in it holds. Open Wabi was imperative for this body of work, it would not have been possible without the generosity of space and materials and for this, I am so grateful. 5 stars all around or 10 if that's the scale.


Nicole Shaver was born and raised in Port Washington, Wisconsin where she skipped stones and watched fisherman gut salmon as a child. She received her BFA from The University of Wisconsin-Madison and MFA from The University of Iowa. Her practice involves ideas of place and belonging using geographical sites as a metaphorical compass in order to catalog personal experience and explore the potentiality of the seemingly divided space that separates things. Her work is about the instinctual notion of absorbing current environments and the things that remind us what it means to dwell.

"To be an artist is not a matter of making paintings or objects at all. What we are really dealing with is our state of consciousness and the shape of our perceptions."

— Robert Irwin

Where to find

Work from the Open Wabi experience

From In Here, To Out There

Some Kind of Way

Some Kind of Way is one part of a series of installations called The Unplace. The installations comprise a heuristic explication of place, dwelling and home and what happens when that is uprooted. Rather than simply being placeless, having no-place or being without-place, Un-place implies loss. The prefix ‘un-‘ denounces absence, lack reversal, the cancellation of an action or state of being; it indicates deprivation, separation or reduction to a lesser state.
It was important to make a metamorphosis, to make these walls and bricks, these elements of agency that we all know, into something uncanny and strange, to refer to the condition of dispossession and displacement that occurs when places are abandoned.
The materials and installation spaces were found through surveillance of the abandoned factory and ruins, and liberated from their point of orientation to examine an extinct place. Here the original is abandoned and the mysterious and ecstatic truth is reached through fabrication and imagination to create a place that strangely resembles a fantasy of our own