The Exhibition
To Be Alone Together is an exhibition co-curated by artist Emma Jane Levitt and curator Shelly Leavens, through the Dana and Toni Ann Rust Curatorial Fellowship at the Museum of Northwest Art in La Conner, Washington. The exhibition uses the framework of pairing eleven contemporary Northwest artists with eleven works from the Museum of Northwest Art’s permanent collection. The contemporary artists will be asked to respond to a chosen piece in the collection and to create new work based on that response.

Please see our first post on the blog (May) for more in-depth information about the concept behind the exhibition.

The Curators

Shelly Leavens earned a B.A. in anthropology and international studies with a minor in German from Penn State University, and a M.A. in museology from the University of Washington. She has worked in public history, museums and the arts for the last 12 years, including the Burke Museum, the Microsoft Art Collection, the Drachen Foundation and the Center for Wooden Boats. She joined Gage Academy of Art as Curator and Manager of Public Events in January 2012. Leavens has also curated independently, including the Kirkland Arts Center and Bumbershoot Music and Arts Festival in Seattle. Leavens has taught at the University of Washington in the Museum Studies Certificate Program, and numerous Oral History workshops in the Puget Sound region.

Emma Jane Levitt is a Seattle based artist working in printmaking, collage, photography, textile and artist's books. Her most recent body of work investigates grief, loss, and the ways in which we are connected to individuals and to inanimate objects. Emma has taught at Pratt Fine Art Center, the Seattle Art Museum and the Frye Art Museum. She is an MFA candidate in Printmaking at the University of New Mexico. She holds an M.Ed from the University of Washington and a BFA from Washington University in St. Louis. Emma has received awards from 4Culture, Seattle Print Arts and Pratt Fine Art Center.

View her work at: emmajanelevitt.com

The Dana and Toni Ann Rust Curatorial Fellowship

In 2013, Toni Ann (Dana’s widow) and a group of artists and friends, in partnership with the Museum of Northwest Art, founded the Dana and Toni Ann Rust Curatorial Fellowship. The fellowship was established to provide a curatorial opportunity for an established curator and a graduate or post-graduate student to work together. Proposals are meant to concentrate on themes/projects in relation to the Museum’s Permanent Collection or to provide local community involvement.

Levitt and Leavens were selected in early April and their exhibition To Be Alone Together is scheduled to open October 2014 in the second floor galleries.

The Museum of Northwest Art

Located in downtown, historic La Conner, Washington, the Museum has been in existence since October 3, 1981, originally called The Valley Museum of Northwest Art. 


The Museum of Northwest Art provides engaging, informative experiences for visitors and the region’s communities by illuminating the dynamic connections between art, diverse cultures and environments in the Northwest.


The Museum of Northwest Art enriches lives in our diverse community by fostering essential conversations and encouraging creativity through exhibitions and educational activities that explore the art of the Northwest.


MoNA collects and exhibits contemporary art from across the Northwest, including Alaska, British Columbia, California, Idaho, Montana, Oregon and Washington.

- See more at: monamuseum.org/about-museum

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