transformative practice

Leah Gipson | Artist, Educator, Art Therapist



art & discursive practice



Divisive is a two-hour monthly broadcast on Lumpen Radio that explores issues of power related to cultural work, activism, and social life. Created by Keith Brown, Leah Gipson, and Craig Harshaw, the show is a live performance of political ideas and questions that consider the role of conflict and disagreement in freedom struggles. Instead of finger-pointing at bad art and bad people, we look for ways to have a public dialogue about art and media that can reveal or change our hegemonic views. We look to shift the accessibility of art and intellectual criticism toward greater equality, and conversations of blame toward responsibility. We believe that actual people, including ourselves, are impacted by a wave of cultural impulses that advance violence and harmful ideology.

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Radio Archive

Lumpen Radio WLPN-LP Chicago 105.5FM streams past episodes on Mixcloud

art therapy


what is art therapy? 
Learn here.


A Long Walk Home, Inc.  is an organization that uses the arts to empower young people and end violence against women and girls.

Donate to A Long Walk Home, Inc. to empower young people and end violence against women and girls. Read more about our work with black female youth leaders in Teen Vogue.


Publications: “Challenging Neoliberalism and Multicultural Love in Art Therapy” and “Is Cultural Competence Enough? Deepening Social Justice Pedagogy in Art Therapy” published in Art Therapy: Journal of the American Art Therapy Association; “Envisioning Black Women’s Consciousness in Art Therapy.” in Talwar (Ed.). (2018). Art Therapy for Social Justice: Radical Intersections.





In the fall of 2013, Leah Gipson began developing a cooperative of artists creating projects in Chicago's west side neighborhoods. West Side Art Chicago was a grassroots, community initiative that built collaborations between local artists who are focused on issues of creativity and urban living in Chicago's historic west side: Austin, Garfield Park, Lawndale, and Humboldt Park. West Side Art Chicago supported economic and cultural thriving on the west side through "generative" projects, art that creates and reproduces ideas for local change and sustainability. 



Project Lot was a series of installations by artists Jen Brown, Leah Gipson and Eve Sanford. The installations occupy vacant lots to initiate conversation about the potential of unoccupied space. Project Lot involves the installation of a structure, which evolves as people contribute written words, messages, and questions. The piece becomes a part of an ongoing dialogue on the politics of space in surrounding communities.

Project Lot #1: Bronzeville  
July 28, 2012
47th Street and King Drive
Chicago, IL

Project Lot #2: South Shore
November 16, 2013
1708 E. 71st Street Chicago
Chicago, IL


In 2009, Leah Gipson began working on a series of art therapy projects to empower girls and women using the objects that are familiar, accessible, and meaningful in their lives. The series began as investigation of the artistic language of clothing as a private and public response to violence against women. 

Heels to Heal, Master of Arts in Art Therapy Graduate Thesis, SAIC
Chicago Metropolitan YWCA
Chicago, IL

The Sneaker Project, A Long Walk Home, Inc.
North Lawndale College Prep
Mercy Home for Boys and Girls
Chicago, IL
2010, 2011, 2012

Altered Clothing Project
Grace House
Chicago, IL


 Copyright 2013 Leah Gipson