Laredo Center for the Arts Presents

Ethel Shipton



Artist Statement 

Ethel Shipton was born and raised in Laredo, Texas. She received a BFA from the University of Texas at Austin in 1989. Ethel worked for the Texas House of Representatives as a photographer for more than eight years. She lived and worked in Mexico City in 1990 and 1992, and then returned to Texas, settling down in San Antonio.


Her practice is informed by a strong conceptual base and encompasses a variety of expressions. Through painting, installation, photography, and text, Shipton spotlights instants of clarity that flit by in the comings and goings of daily life. Past works have centered on ideas of urban scenes, language, and attempts to process information. Time is an important issue of her oeuvre. We can find references to time and images of time throughout her art practice. “Space and time, movement and place I see going hand and hand. These two elements continue to be the groundwork for my artwork. We all continue to move between time and space on a moment-by-moment basis.” – Ethel Shipton



About the Artist

Whether making a mark on paper, a sculpture for the gallery wall, or an intervention in the public realm, San Antonio-based Ethel Shipton challenges context and draws on the power of the unexpected. In one series, she upholsters basketball hoops, skateboards, baseballs, and axes with colorful vinyl, boldly feminizing traditionally masculine objects. For a public commission at a newly built San Antonio bus transfer, Shipton tinted the station’s windows blue, yellow, red, and green, and applied the words “GRACE,” “LISTEN,” “TALK,” and “FORWARD.” These evocative gestures both softened and activated the otherwise stagnant waiting room, encouraging interaction between the waiting strangers.


Shipton has exhibited at numerous galleries, including Artpace San Antonio, TX, Museum of Fine Art, Santa Fe, NM; Blue Star Contemporary Art Museum, San Antonio, TX; Shore Institute of Contemporary Art, Long Beach, CA; Austin Museum of Art, TX; Women and Their Work Gallery, Austin, TX; Sala Diaz, San Antonio, TX and Studio Santa Catarina, Mexico City. In 2011, Shipton was awarded Artist Honoree of the year at Blue Star Contemporary Art Museum.