Shana joined The LP team as our Director of Finance & Operations in April 2022, where she will be developing, managing, and enhancing our financial and administrative operations. Get to know more about Shana below!
In what neighborhood do you live?
Prospect Lefferts Gardens/Flatbush
How did you first become connected to The LP, or hear about The LP?
I first heard of The LP through my work at Brooklyn Arts Council. Being part of the same Brooklyn arts community, a lot of the artists I worked with at BAC overlap with the artists that The LP works with. One of my coworkers spoke with The LP during the community mapping project, and another was on a panel with Ayesha for the NYC Arts in Education Roundtable Face to Face Conference last year.
So, what attracted you to The LP? How does working here relate to your professional goals?
Every touchpoint I’ve had with The LP has been overwhelmingly positive. I’m constantly impressed with how deep The LP is able to go in this work, with the intentionality that’s given to every detail, both internally and externally. I’ve done a good deal of visioning around what I believe a healthy and sustainable workplace could look like, and it feels aligned with The LP’s practices and goals. I’m quite proud of the work I’ve done to build systems and policies to advance equity and sustainability in the workplace, and I’m excited to bring my skills to this organization I admire.
Do you have your own creative practice? If so, tell us more!
I do! I’m a classically trained painter and have a particular interest in oil portraits that capture divisions of power and the psychologically and historically fraught spectacle of the painted female form. My work draws on inspiration from my favorite feminist authors, representing complexities in daily life managing safety, fear, and harassment, both in and outside the home. More than anything, I love color and find building my palette one of the most meditative and restorative practices I’ve encountered. I also play a number of instruments and am dabbling in songwriting.
Can you tell us about an artist or project that has inspired you?
Fred Wilson’s Mining the Museum! Fred Wilson was invited to do an installation at the Maryland Historical Society in 1992 in which he used items previously relegated to storage to subvert the (white, upper-class) narrative of the museum, putting on display the racist, white supremacist history of Maryland which had been neatly tucked into a closet. I just love anything that can, through such simple means, flip an entire narrative which has been presented as fact. It’s something I think about often when presented with news or history. What is the story that’s being left out? Who is telling this story and what is their motive? What don’t they want their audience to see? Museums are so often heralded as being neutral, public institutions and I so appreciate this exhibit for calling out just how not neutral these institutions are.
What is your favorite… film? …album? …food?
Film: Blue Velvet by David Lynch. I actually filmed my own (hilariously over the top) version of it in high school, haha. Album: alllll of the Okay Kaya. She got me through the last two years of the pandemic with her soothing voice and gentle melodies. Food: I’m a sucker for noodles of all kinds.
Where do you do your laundry?
570 Laundromat, across the street from my apartment.
In your opinion, why does art matter?
What I love about art is that it is a purely natural and visceral human expression at its core. It’s inherently embedded with cultural and communal context, it acts as a means of connection, and it has the potential to expand perception. Great art pulls out the layers of feelings and complexities that I didn’t even realize were there until recognizing it in something and someone else. I think art supports each of us in feeling like we’re not alone.
What LP value do you most relate to and why?
I so appreciate the value of practicing abundance: that together we encompass everything we need. Lately I’ve been stuck on this idea that we’re all part of the same ecosystem and each of our actions has essential ripple effects on the larger environment. I remind myself of this on days when the world feels large and insurmountable. I try to remember on those days that working intentionally and carefully in my areas that I’m skilled in and have access to helps, even if it doesn’t seem directly related.
Shana Wolfe is a classically trained oil painter and multimedia artist with over ten years experience working in nonprofit administration. She has shown her work in exhibits throughout Brooklyn, crafted and designed music videos and film sets, and produced immersive displays for events and installations. Just before the pandemic, Shana launched a community art space, Pocket, offering resources and classes to the Crown Heights neighborhood (out of a former laundromat!). After studying Painting at Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore, MD, she earned her B.S. in Art History and Museum Professions at SUNY Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City. Before joining The LP team, she worked at Brooklyn Arts Council, providing resources and support to artists throughout the borough.