Defining a Moment: an independent project from Fellow Erica Mohan

Girls’ Club presents Part Two of Defining a Moment, an independent project created by Fall 2014 fellow Erica Mohan. Defining a Moment is a multi-part video blog series exploring the stories of select artists’ decisions to pursue an artistic profession and the moments that sparked their transformation. Artists were selected from the private collection of Francie Bishop Good and David Horvitz, founders of Girls’ Club, with a focus on local artists.

Defining a Moment shares an intimate glimpse of artists’ personal struggles, discoveries, philosophies and fears involved with being a practicing artist in today’s society.


About Erica Mohan

Erica Mohan was born in Toronto, Ontario, CA. She obtained a BFA from Florida Atlantic University and went on to hold Girls' Club first fellowship position in Fall 2015. She is an oil painter whose interests revolve around her experience with martial arts and its application in everyday life.

Follow the hashtag #DefiningaMoment on social media platforms for the latest interviews and updates.


Part Two

Part Two

features Girls' Club Collection artists Samantha Salzinger, Francie Bishop Good, Sarah Michelle Rupert, Carolyn Swiszcz, Michelle Weinberg, Peter Symons and Leah Brown

Published January 2016.


Samantha Salzinger

"..there's something blissful and happy about the act of doing it.."

artist website


Francie Bishop Good

"'re going to get up to bat even if you strike out, because it's a passion that you love.."

artist website


Sarah Michelle Rupert

"..I found this weird space that just fit and it felt awesome.."

artist website


Carolyn Swiszcz

"There hasn't been one 'defining moment' that made me want to be an artist; there have been a series of experiences and people who have helped develop the desire (always with me) to make things. One of my most profound influences was a couple who collected art. My father, a machinist, maintenance man, and creative problem solver, was their handyman for over two decades. They lived in an architecturally significant mid-century home that could have been (and probably was) featured in magazines and coffee table books. My parents and I frequently house-sat for them. I loved spending time there, not just for the pool, but because I found so many spaces for my imagination: a rose garden, a goldfish pond, a balcony, reading nooks. I remember watching the morning fog clear as the sculptures out on the lawn were revealed.

"Their collection of paintings, sculptures, and books was my first museum. Their art sometimes perplexed and unsettled my parents. 'Wait until you see THIS new thing!' my father would say about a new purchase. It's not as if I came from a home without a sense of aesthetics, but my mother's taste is traditional: brass candlesticks, watercolor landscapes, flowered wallpaper, nautical touches from our New England seaside city. My other home, as I came to think of it, had work that was challenging, unconventionally beautiful, large. Two works that I found most memorable were by Red Grooms. Their content wasn't as shocking to me as their form. One was a colorful paper mâché sculpture in an upstairs bedroom; it was a good 5 feet tall and seemed to tumble off the wall. Another was an arrangement of figures from one of Grooms' animations, mounted on a wooden staircase, that took up about as much room as pinball machine. There was, of course, nothing remotely like this in the house where I grew up. Seeing this work gave me a desire to make ambitious things out of real material like metal, wood, clay and oil paint - not just the fussy little tempera paints and crayons that I had access to.

"This house was also remarkably free of the detritus I was used to seeing elsewhere: TV trays, stuffed animals, photo albums, knick-knacks, throw rugs, tissue boxes, seasonal decorations. I can think of few details that were not carefully considered, and often those seemed to be admitted as a compromise for comfort or technology. The silverware, patio furniture, light fixtures, and even the houseplants were from another better-designed planet than the one I normally lived on, and I loved visiting this planet and daydreaming.

"I can't quite pin down what I gained by my exposure to the world that this couple created but I will try. Maybe being in their home on a regular basis, over the course of many years, in different seasons and different light, enabled me to develop an ongoing relationship with art and architecture that can't be gained by seeing similar (or even superior) work on a few museum trips. Their choices, the way work was placed and rotated, the catalogs they brought back from their travels, taught me that art could be the focus of a home and a life."

artist website

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Michelle Weinberg

"..I think it's all about..recreating those aesthetic experiences, or trying to.."

artist website

Peter Symons

" started to be something that I couldn't help but do.."

artist website


Leah Brown

"..I just fell in love with making things.."

artist website

Part One