No Words

Sasha Chavchavadze, No Words, 12″ x 24″, archival pigment print on Canson.

I don’t think there’s a particular kind of Quaker artist. I have encountered some artists whose practice and work are contemplative. There are other artists that I would describe as activists, meaning that their work, whether performance or painting, addresses specific issues. 

Being a Quaker has influenced me by underscoring my feeling that art can flourish better in communities outside the rigid art world structures, particularly the commercial art world. These structures create a culture of scarcity that can be toxic for all involved, perhaps especially for the artists. I believe art has lost much of its essential function within these structures, such as changing—and sometimes saving—peoples’ lives. 

Being a Quaker has made me realize that my art practice has always been a spiritual practice at its core, an expression of the Light. I believe the idea that Quaker artists should be humble is a response to the ego-driven, competitive nature of art today. My remedy for this is to create new community-based art projects and platforms in which I collaborate with other artists and share my work with joy.

Sasha Chavchavadze

Sasha Chavchavadze has exhibited her mixed media paintings and installations widely for 30 years. Her community-based art projects reconnect art to other disciplines and to the community. She attends Brooklyn (N.Y.) Meeting. Online: and

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