Rose Shulman-Litwin debuts interactive senior show ‘LABORATORY,’ intends to ‘normalize the female body through art’


Photo credit: Nicki Rosenberg

Rose Shulman-Litwin ’18 poses in front of her senior show entitled, “LABORATORY.” The show was inspired by the artist’s fascination with the female body, medical science and research.

A laboratory complete with smoke machines, clay body parts and a “Mad Scientist”, otherwise known as Rose Shulman-Litwin ’18, attracted students, teachers and faculty to the Senior Courtyard On Monday, April 30.

Shulman-Litwin explored the female body and presented her art in an interactive show entitled “LABORATORY.” 

“My show is inspired by my fascination with the female body and medical science and research,” Shulman-Litwin wrote in her artist’s statement.

Shulman-Litwin also wrote that the show features multiple photo-realistic sculptures of the body, vintage dental slides from Shulman-Litwin’s grandfather’s oral surgery practice and two microscopes with slides of teeth, skin and veins.

“One of my dads, a physician at [the] UCLA Hospital, has been jokingly encouraging me to attend medical school — a field that I have absolutely no talent in whatsoever,” Shulman-Litwin said. “As a slight homage, I opened my show as a laboratory with my character as the Mad Scientist Dr. Rose.”

According to student attendees, this was not a typical senior show. Viewers were able to enter her laboratory, touch the art and even take some home. At the end of the exhibit, there was a box full of clay molds of various body parts that viewers could choose from. 

“I think it’s a really interesting way to bring the community into the art and into the process of art making,” Gemma Brand-Wolf ’18 said. “I think that it was really important aspect of how Rose did her show, it brought art into a public space and allowed for a greater impact on the community.”

In addition to honoring both of her fathers’ careers, one of whom works in the entertainment industry and the other who as a physician, Shulman-Litwin also strove to normalize the female body with the show. 

“Normalizing the female body through art has always been my goal at Archer,” Shulman-Litwin said. “It started in ninth grade when I received a lot of opposition for hanging up nude drawings. But I tackled that hill, and now it’s really common for classes to have nude models in them.”  

Shulman-Litwin will be attending New York University in the fall, where she plans to work towards diminishing the stigma around the female body through art.

“I’m really excited to go to college, so I can get even crazier with it,” Shulman-Litwin said. “Obviously there are boundaries, but I’m not going to be in a school with sixth graders anymore, so those boundaries won’t have to be as strict.”