Catalogues and Exhibition Texts – click thumbnails to read

Sarah Howard

"Sponge Exchange, Hope Ginsburg" (exhibition text)

University of South Florida Contemporary Art Museum, 2020

Denise Markonish
"Explode Every Day: An Inquiry into the Phenomena of Wonder" (excerpt from catalog essay)
MASS MoCA, 2016
pp. 50–51

Jennifer Lange
"Land Dive Team: Bay of Fundy" (exhibition text)
THE BOX, Wexner Center for the Arts, 2016

Sarah Demeuse
"Weather Permitting" (catalog entry)
9th Mercosul Biennial, 2013
pp. 308–311

Regine Basha
"Hope Ginsburg" (catalog essay)
CUE Art Foundation, 2011
pp. 6–7

Emily Sessions
"Hope Ginsburg" (catalog essay)
CUE Art Foundation, 2011
pp. 21–25

Jennifer Kollar
"Factory Direct: New Haven" (catalog entry)
Artspace, 2005

Helen Molesworth
"Work Ethic" (catalog entry)
Baltimore Museum of Art, 2003
pp. 147–148

Larissa Harris
"Heart of Gold" (excerpt from catalog essay)
PS1, 2002
pp. 3–5

Omer Fast
"Fido Television" (excerpt from catalog essay)
Hunter College Times Square Art Gallery, 2000

Books – click thumbnails to read

Sarah Urist Green

"You Are An Artist: Assignments to Spark Creation"

Penguin Books, 2020

pp. 239–232

Corina L. Apostol and Nato Thompson, Editors

"Making Another World Possible: 10 Creative Time Summits, 10 Global Issues, 100 Art Projects"

Routledge, 2020

pp. 277–278

Akiko Busch

"How to Disappear: Notes on Invisibility in a Time of Transparency"

Penguin Books, 2019

pp. 199–200

Articles and Reviews – click thumbnails to read

Antonia S. Krueger

"Art for a Warming World: Sponge Exchange and Flood Zone"

Creative Pinellas

February 19, 2020

Emma Colón
"5 Artists Bridging Communities Across Difference"
A Blade of Grass Magazine
March 28, 2019

Leila Ugincius
"Optimistic and Tragic: A Glimpse of Coral Restoration"
VCU News
March 26, 2019

Sydney Cologie and Brynne McGregor
"Wex Moments 2018: Film/Video Studio artist Hope Ginsburg" (Q&A)
Wexner Center for the Arts
December 26, 2018

Tim Dodson
"Performative Diving Piece Featured at Festival Honoring the James River"
Richmond Times-Dispatch
June 9, 2018

Karen Newton
"Deep Dive: Artist Hope Ginsburg Becomes One with the Sea"
Style Weekly, June 2018

Jessica Lynne
"From Climate Change to Race Relations, Artists Respond to Richmond, VA" (review)
Hyperallergic, 2015

Lauren O'Neill-Butler
"Hope Ginsburg CUE Art Foundation" (review)
Artforum, Summer 2011

Gary Robertson

"Art Students Find Inspiration in the Lab"

VCU News Center, 2010

T.J. Demos
"Work Ethic" (review)
Artforum, February 2004

Videos – click thumbnails to view

Land Dive Team: Amphibious James

Television Program is a Production of VPM

Producer/Director: Mason Mills

Producer/Field Director: Allison Benedict

September 22, 2019

Conjure a Studio – Hope Ginsburg
The Art Assignment
PBS Digital Studios, 2016

The Art of Pedagogy – Hope Ginsburg
Creative Time Summit
Biennale Arte, 2015

Art and Education in the 21st Century
Panelists: John Brown-Executive Director, Windgate Foundation; Tom Finkelpearl-Commissioner, NYC Department of Cultural Affairs; Hope Ginsburg-Artist and Educator; Moderator: Geoffrey Cowan- President, The Annenberg Foundation Trust
Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, 2014

Conjure A Studio


Hope Ginsburg (b. 1974)


Hope Ginsburg's first studio was a table and chair under the basement steps of the house she grew up in. When she lived in New York, her studio was also her apartment, where she hosted studio visits by neatly making her bed and projecting images onto a screen in front of the couch. Over the course of her career, Ginsburg has made a studio out of many unorthodox spaces: a backyard, where beekeepers helped her fashion a beard out of bees; a Qatari desert, where she meditated in full scuba gear; and a kitchen, where she cooked up vats of wool felt to shape into large-scale sea sponges.

Ginsburg is a self-proclaimed sea sponge obsessive, and her projects have explored the sponge's biology as well as its metaphoric potential as an animal that is highly adaptable and social. Her felt sponges were developed through partnerships with marine biologists, wool vendors, felters, and natural-dye experts. She made the felt sponges collaboratively with local artists and students through workshops in Richmond, Virginia, and Porto Alegre, Brazil, where they were eventually displayed in a former thermoelectric plant.

She dreamed of "planting" her sponge operation somewhere more permanent and established the "Sponge HQ", a base of operations inside Virginia Commonwealth University School of the Arts. For five years, the space served as an interdisciplinary lab, workshop, and classroom, with a felting studio, aquarium, active beehive, and library. The HQ played host to a wide array of lectures and projects by students and visiting artists, and also became Ginsburg's de facto studio.

When that project was winding down, Ginsburg began to think about where she'd like to work next and whether she needed a "proper" studio at all. She'd daydream about what her fantasy studio would look like and then consider the more practical approach of taking over the guest room in her house. Perhaps her studio could be a dive shop, an outgrowth of her series Breathing on Land, offering scuba-diving gear for guided meditation sessions on land? Or should it be a more general space that various projects could flow through?

We tend to think of artists' studios as solitary spaces from which artwork emerges fully formed. But Ginsburg's practice is driven by investigation out in the world, learning by doing, and synthesizing the talents of many. What is the right kind of space for her work to happen? And what kind of studio is right for the work that you do?

Sarah Urist Green

"You Are An Artist: Assignments to Spark Creation"

Penguin Books, 2020

pp. 239–232