Without Borders XV Artist Spotlight: Kate Dawson

Without Borders XV: Between You and Me will be open 17th The festival will showcase the work of UMaine Intermedia MFA candidates Alicia Champlin, Kate Dawson, Eleanor Kipping and Wade WarmanBetween You and Me will run from May 17th to June 30th with an opening reception on Thursday, May 17th at 5:00 p.m. at Lord Hall Gallery. The opening reception will also be followed by a performance by Alicia Champlin in the Innovative Media Research and Commercialization Center AP/PE Space at 7:30 p.m.


Artist Spotlight: Kate Dawson

Kate Dawson
Kate Dawson

Kate Dawson is an Orono, Maine-based artist and sex educator.  Dawson grew up in Maine, attended University of King’s College’s Foundation Year Programme, and went west to attend Colorado College (CC) where she earned a B.A. in English and a minor in the Arts in Theory and Practice.  At CC she participated in avant-garde theater performances, original contemporary musical theater, and produced public radio and T.V. stories focused on arts and culture in the Pikes Peak region. Dawson also has a strong interest in outdoor leadership and has hiked in Wrangell-St. Elias National Park, Alaska, the 100-mile wilderness in Maine, Colorado, Utah, New Mexico, Baja, Mexico and Abisko, Sweden.  She returned to Maine in 2009 to begin the Intermedia MFA. After a hiatus to learn the family business of real estate, she is back completing her thesis.

Dawson’s initial research in the Intermedia program investigated walking as art practice and how movement in the physical world could be a mirror to psychological states.  She used documentation of walks in her immediate landscapes in multimedia installations and performative work.

Dawson’s current work explores ideas of self-love, self-care, embodied knowledge, queer identity, and sexuality.  She employs feminist performance art methods, experimental documentary forms, experiential somatic research, and radical self-care practices in her creative work.  She studies with artist and sex educator Betty Dodson and is a certified Bodysex Workshop facilitator. This training continues to inform her art practice. Dawson’s aim is to bring feminist self-care practices and rituals into art spaces.  



When I am myself –

in the present or in memories past,

vulnerably open or protected by strong boundaries,

showing strength or accepting my weakness,

full of certain resolve or uncertain possibility –

I ask you to be yourself.


When I feel pleasure –


within me,

or with you,

or chosen kindred,

the whole spectrum is revealed –

I can feel everything.


When I love myself I love you.

Through performance, writing, and experimental documentation of everyday life, I share my own methods of engaging in physical, social, and spiritual manifestations of self love.  These self-love portraits can be experienced with all senses – touch, taste, sight, sound, and smell – and are meant to bring myself and the viewer/participant deeper into our own bodies.

I want to seduce you into loving yourself.  Seduce you into giving yourself care. Seduction is often viewed as synonymous with manipulation and dishonesty.  My strategy is the opposite – to seduce with radical honesty and transparency of intent. By sharing my own stories and embodied strategies I hope you will identify your own art of self-love and share your practice with me.