Transpersonal Art: A Conversation with Artist Judy Schavrien


  • Dorit Netzer Hofstra University
  • Judy Schavrien



art-informed scholarship, computer art, feminist art, participatory research, political art, portrait, social activism, transpersonal psychology


This article presents an excerpt from an interview with Judy Schavrien, a transpersonal psychology scholar, poet, and artist. In the course of this dialogue, Schavrien uncovers the philosophical and psychosocial underpinnings for the artworks included in her books Alice at the Rabbithole Café and Everything Voluptuous: The Love Songs 1970-2014. The collegial conversation, unstructured in advance yet guided by the art it explores, inquires into the following: the role of the transpersonal artist-scholar; the meaning Schavrien attributes to her subject matter; the environments and people that act as catalysts; the relevance of her choice of media and process; and, finally, whether the aims in her art and research converge. It becomes clear that, for Schavrien, it is not enough for artists to be mere custodians of their culture. Their role, in her view, is to challenge conventions, cry out, provoke thought, engage multiple ways of knowing, and offer alternatives that push society forward. Her research intends the same. Both Schavrien and the interviewer perceive a participatory element in her art, her research, and the approach taken in this article that explores them.

Author Biographies

Dorit Netzer, Hofstra University

Dorit Netzer, PhD, ATR-BC, LCAT is an art therapist in private practice. She works with children, adults, couples and families, incorporating creative expression with a focus on healing and spiritual development. In addition to her clinical practice, Dorit is an adjunct research faculty at Sofia University, CA (Formerly the Institute of Transpersonal Psychology), and an assistant adjunct professor of Creative Art Therapy at Hofstra University, NY. She is a qualitative researcher, who focuses on the role of imagery and creative expression in human development and transformative learning.


Judy Schavrien

Judy Schavrien, PhD, MFT is an artist and psychotherapist in the San Francisco Bay Area. She has received 18 awards for work in the arts and theory, a nomination for Oakland, California artist of the year, and has been featured in a cover article for the international feminist journal On The Issues. Her books are what rhymes with cancer?, Alice at the Rabbithole Café, and Everything Voluptuous: The Love Songs 1970-2014. Contact:,


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How to Cite

Netzer, D., & Schavrien, J. (2016). Transpersonal Art: A Conversation with Artist Judy Schavrien. Art/Research International: A Transdisciplinary Journal, 1(1), 29–52.