Ellen Garvens

Ellen Garvens

Artist in Residence
Different Readings
Ellen Garvens


Ellen Garvens is a Professor of Art at the University of Washington in Seattle. She received an MFA from the University of New Mexico. Fellowships include a Fulbright–Hayes Scholarship, National Endowment for the Arts Individual Grant, and an Artist Trust /Washington State Grant. The work has been featured in the International Visual Sociology Association Journal Visual Studies. The January 2009 Issue of Contact Sheet, published by Light Work Galley in Syracuse, NY is dedicated to her work. Garvens’ work is in the public collections of the University of New Mexico Fine Arts Museum, Tacoma Art Museum, The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Allen Memorial Art Museum, and Yale University Art Gallery, among others.

Project Summary

Ellen Garvens has worked with mixed media photography, installation and drawing in a variety of ways. She currently creates temporary set ups that she photographs to highlight spatial inconsistencies and play with visual illusion. She records everyday domestic objects in ways that emphasize how temporary and discordant the familiar can become. Transitions, weightlessness, the flattening of space and the letting go of control is enacted with these mundane objects. She is interested in the unstable and the awkward as a way to create tension and imply discomfort. Garvens hopes to explore the environment of Villa I Tatti, the grounds, farm, garden, the domesticity of the interior rooms, the library, including the apartment and studio provided. Paying special attention to the differences in light, color, atmosphere, surfaces and materials, she is interested in the challenge of working in a new environment and being open to the changes that result. Her past work has been profoundly affected by different studio environments. This will be a welcome challenge to create work in this place of contemplation and study. She is interested in what the fellow researchers, library of information, rich historical environment, as well as the original works of art hanging on the walls, might bring to the work. She is hoping that sharing the work and process of a contemporary artist brings a different but welcome perspective to the conversation