top of page

Mallory Shotwell Bio

mallory shotwell.jpg

Mallory Shotwell (she/her), the Founder and Director of Cultivate, an artist-run initiative in Grand Rapids, Michigan, shares a career that spans across arts administration, curation, and personal artistic exploration. With over a decade of experience, Shotwell's leadership at Cultivate has been pivotal in steering strategic gallery management and spearheading innovative educational programs. Her efforts have significantly contributed to fostering a vibrant art community that thrives on dialogue and collaboration.

In her curatorial work, Shotwell has demonstrated a keen eye for nurturing both emerging and established artists, creating exhibitions that not only provoke thought but also foster artistic exchange. Through her curatorial projects, she aims to challenge perceptions and engage audiences in critical discourse on contemporary issues. This dedication underscores her belief in the power of art to connect, confront, and enlighten.

Parallel to her roles in arts administration and curation, Shotwell's personal art practice delves into the exploration of the intersection between traditional mediums and digital innovations. Her work is deeply engaged with the narratives of human experience, employing a range of techniques from drawing and painting to new media and alternative photographic methods. This multidisciplinary approach reflects her commitment to articulating the complexities of the human condition through art.

Her current body of work is the project "Suspended Self: the Liminal Space of Breast Cancer," a collaborative initiative with the National Breast Cancer Foundation. This project, which compiles over 1500 narratives from women confronting breast cancer across the United States and Europe, stands as a testament to Shotwell's belief in the transformative power of art. It showcases her dedication to using art as a platform for social change, dialogue, and healing, epitomizing her efforts to dissolve the boundaries between art and activism.

Overall, Mallory Shotwell's work with Cultivate, her curatorial endeavors, and her personal art practice form a compelling narrative of dedication to enriching the cultural landscape. Her career is a testament to her advocacy for the arts as a tool for education, societal transformation, and the advancement of artistic expression.

Mallory Shotwell Artist Statement

Mallory Shotwell's art practice is deeply rooted in a profound commitment to exploring the nuances of care and the human experience through a blend of traditional and innovative media. Her work encompasses a wide range of techniques from drawing and painting to new media and alternative photographic methods, reflecting a multifaceted approach to engaging with the stories that shape our lives. This dedication to multidisciplinary exploration is a testament to her commitment to articulating the complexities of human life through art.


Shotwell's practice transcends singular projects, engaging deeply with community-based initiatives that embody her philosophy of art as a catalyst for communal healing and transformation. Her work encompasses a broader spectrum of engagements that collectively underscore her commitment to care. Each project, whether focusing on individual narratives like those in "Suspended Self" or the collective journey of empowerment and self-discovery facilitated through her diverse workshops and initiatives, serves as a conduit for empathy, connection, and societal reflection.


Her art is a dialogue, a means of exploring the intersections between personal experience and collective identity, between the tactile and the digital, between the seen and the unseen. Through these intersections, Shotwell invites participants and viewers alike into a shared space of exploration and understanding. Her projects, varied in scope and medium, all share a common thread: the belief in art's ability to foster dialogue, challenge perceptions, and encourage a deeper engagement with the world around us.


In every facet of her work, Shotwell seeks not only to question but to listen—to the stories, the silences, and the spaces in between. Her commitment to using art as a platform for social change, dialogue, and healing is evident in her approach to both her personal practice and her community engagements. Through this holistic approach to art and activism, Shotwell exemplifies the transformative power of creative expression, demonstrating its capacity to not only reflect but also reshape the world.

bottom of page