2011—The Waiting Room: Lost and Found

This exhibit was developed by artists Marguerite Perret, Bruce Scherting, Stephanie Lanter, and Robin Lasser, in collaboration with artists and community members across the country.

Curator’s Statement: Four (plus many more) artists working collaboratively examine (literally) the relationship between women, their families, and health care issues and providers. Within a waiting-room environment, various maladies are represented, and at each station, survivors, relatives and friends share experiences—voicing their fears, frustrations, and hopes in facing their medical challenges. –Sherry Best

  • Visit the official Waiting Room webpage here.
  • Check out the Waiting Room project website here.
  • Follow The Waiting Room on Facebook here.

Buy the Book!

A Waiting Room of One’s Own: Contexts for the Waiting Room, the book, will be available for sale at the January 14 artist talk and copies will be available for visitors to read on site in the installation.

The book documents the complexities of selected aspects of the American woman’s health experience, and instigates dialogue among all men and women affected. It is composed of a color exhibit catalogue and sixteen original essays by scholars, health-care professionals, artists, and writers. These varied points of view offer a poignant analysis of the cultural and political structures organizing our notions of health. General editor Sarah Smarsh is a freelance writer and assistant professor of English at Washburn University in Topeka, KS.

An online copy is available to read or purchase here.

Related Events

Milagros Workshops

Opening Reception
Friday | January 13 | 5:30 PM – 8:30PM
Sabatini Gallery

Performance | Measuring Time In The Waiting Room
Friday | January 13 | 5:30 PM – 8:30 PM
Sabatini Gallery

Measuring Time in the Waiting Room is an ambient performance in the gallery presented at the opening reception.  Directed and costumed by Sharon L. Sullivan, Washburn University associate theater professor, this modern interpretation of the mythical Greek Fates as they might appear in a contemporary doctor’s office will be performed by Arrissa Utemark, Samantha Heath, and Ashley Vaughan. Written by Marguerite Perret.

Performance | Tick Tock
Friday | January 13 | 6 PM & 7:30 PM
Saturday | January 14 | 11:30 AM
Marvin Auditorium 101 ABC

This one-act play follows a group of women and men in a medical waiting room that begin feeling isolated, bored and anxious but eventually come together in exuberant song and dance. Marcia Cebulska (playwright) is best known to Kansans for her play Now Let Me Fly, commissioned for the national  celebration  of the Brown v. Board 50th anniversary and Through Martha’s Eyes, a film broadcast on national public television. Darren Canady (director) is a Topeka High alum who currently teaches playwriting at University of Kansas and has had his own work produced nationally. Eleanor Goudie-Averill (choreographer) grew up in Topeka, teaches at Temple University, and dances and choreographs in New York City and Philadelphia.

Artists’ Talk
Robin Lasser, Marguerite Perret, Stephanie Lanter and Bruce Scherting
Saturday | January 14 | 2 – 3:30PM
Marvin Auditorium 101C

Milagro Workshop
Marguerite Perret and Stephanie Lanter
Saturday | February 25 | 1-3 PM
Marvin Auditorium 101C

Milagro translates from Spanish to mean “miracle.” The library entrance is filled with artist- and community-made Milagros, which historically have functioned as offerings of thanks or requests for healing. Create your own milagro with Waiting Room artists by combining anatomy images, pencils, paints, fibers, and various other materials to form collages. Along with your Milagro collage, you are invited to contribute your own health story to the Waiting Room Project, as it grows and travels to future exhibit venues. Materials provided. Registration required at 580-4515.

Financial and other essential support for this project is through private donations, the artists and partners, Washburn University, the Center for Kansas Studies, The Washburn University Department of English, the Mabee Library, The National Endowment for the Arts, the Kansas Arts Commission, the University of Saint Catherine, The Ragdale Foundation, The Salina Art Center, and The Topeka YWCA Center for Safety and Empowerment.