Hilma’s Ghost | ONLY CONNECT Webinar

Thursday, Dec 3, 2020 2 – 3 pm

New address coming 2023
Temp. office:
1732 W. Hubbard, Ste. 1A
Chicago, IL 60622


Dannielle Tegeder and Sharmistha Ray with special guest William Downs
Thursday, December 3, 2PM (CST)

EVENT LINK (Password: hilma)

Join Hilma’s Ghost for its first public program on Automatism and Art, in collaboration with Only Connect at Carrie Secrist Gallery. The virtual event will include brief lectures from Dannielle Tegeder, on the history of spiritualism and abstraction, and Sharmistha Ray, on esoteric abstraction (including Tantra) and automatism in art, followed by an automatic drawing workshop led by William Downs.

Founded by Dannielle Tegeder and Sharmistha Ray, Hilma’s Ghost is a feminist artist collective that seeks to address existing art historical gaps in abstraction through sustained methods of praxis, research, and pedagogy. Hilma af Klint’s exhibition at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York (October 12, 2018 – April 23, 2019) served as a reckoning for abstraction by women, trans, and non-binary peoples, whose narratives have been subsumed by dominant modes of western art history. Among other falsehoods, the art historical cannon created a faulty start for abstraction with Wassily Kandinsky’s 1910 manifesto Concerning the Spiritual in Art. Therefore, the collective’s purpose is to recover esoteric schools of thought that address abstraction through collaborative art making, rigorous study, innovative educational initiatives, and ritual practice. 

Automatic drawing is a process of entering an altered state of consciousness to explore the worldview of an artist through the medium of the brain and hands. This workshop is an immersive, expansive, and tactile experience. Participants will create works that explore the contentious and the unconscious through prompts and demonstrations of techniques.

This workshop is for all levels. 

Participants will investigate mixed media and should come prepared with materials they have on hand such as paper, pen, charcoal, ink wash, conte, chalk crayon, oil, and acrylic paint.


Dannielle Tegeder is an artist and professor at The City University of New York at Lehman College. For the past fifteen years, her work has explored abstraction through the lens of systems, architecture, utopianism, and the function of modernism. While the core of her practice is paintings and drawings, she also works in large-scale installation, mobiles, video, sound, and animation and has done a number of collaborations with composers, dancers, and writers. In March 2020 Tegeder founded The Pandemic Salon, a community-centric project intended to dismantle the hierarchical structures of institutional discussion, which showcases topics related to the pandemic by bringing together creative minds in an informal, online environment.

Sharmistha Ray is an artist, writer, and educator based in Brooklyn, New York. Through the subjective lens of queerness, language, memory, spiritual faith, and personal evidence, their work emerges out of the experiences of war, (im)migration, alienation, and familial and romantic separation to engage themes of intimacy, (be)longing, displacement, and survival. Sharmistha’s practice, which consists of paintings, drawings, printmaking, sculptures, installations, photographs, cultural programming, and hybrid texts, is experiential, research and project-based, theoretical, and interdisciplinary.

William Downs works in a range of mediums, but focuses primarily on drawing. By using the figure as a foundation, he builds bodies and landscapes through the layering of lines. A visual record of human interaction, his work singular and infinite, formal and surreal. He has held teaching positions at Georgia State University in Atlanta, Parsons School for Design, The Cooper Union, and Tulane University. He is represented by Sandler Hudson Gallery in Atlanta and was the 2018 Artadia Atlanta awardee.

To view the online viewing room for Only Connect, please click here.

Upcoming ONLY CONNECT Webinars:
Diana Guerrero-Maciá + Jesse Harrod: Friday, December 4 | 5:00PM (CST) | ZOOM LINK
Megan Green + Thalia Agosto: Saturday, December 5 | 1:00PM (CST) | ZOOM LINK


Images: Medium Marthe Beruad excreting exctoplasm during a séance, circa 1910. Artists Dannielle Tegeder and Sharmistha Ray.