By Nicole Mitchell
One yearly project of local art nonprofit Van Go is Adornment, which is centered around holiday shopping. The organization hires youth to create works of art for its Annual Adornment Art Show and Sale, which are then sold to the public. This year’s theme is “A Seat at the Table” and is inspired by Shirley Chrisholm, the first Black woman to serve in the United States Congress, along with her quote, “if they don’t give you a seat at the table, bring a folding chair.”
Van Go artist Elizabeth shared that her chair, titled “Burn Marks” represents the way trauma damages a person’s sense of identity. “All of this represents abuse and the damage it leaves behind,” she said. “Please look at your reflection in the mirror; it obscures reflections to represent the clouded sense of self that survivors endure during and after trauma as a result of living in a state of survival…”
Due to the size of the chairs, those pieces will only be available for local pick up in Lawrence, Kansas. However, other items are available both online and in-person for purchase, such as kitchenware, leatherwork, jewelry, ornaments, and more.
Lawrence locals can visit the show in-person now until Dec. 19 at Van Go, 715 New Jersey St. For more hours and dates, visit Van Go’s Facebook event page. The event is free and open to the public. This year’s Adornment show is sponsored by Evergy and Tequa Creek.
Van Go, Inc. was founded by Lynne Green in 1997 after receiving a $2000 grant from the Kansas Arts Commision. Since then, it has prepared teens and young adults, aged 14-24, for the job market by providing year-round after-school and summer job-training programs to high-needs and under-served people–while using art as its vehicle. Some programs offered by Van Go include job skills training, mental health services, go healthy living lessons, life skills lessons, and academic support. Needless to say, Van Go is a big supporter of those who live in Lawrence, Kansas.
Check out Van Go’s online store to purchase online.
Nicole Mitchell (she/they) is a writer and social media manager who graduated December 2020 with a degree in strategic communication. A few of her favorite things include cuddling with cats, listening to Bon Iver, making lattes, and running her book club (even though sometimes she forgets to read the books.)