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Anna van Schaap


"I am interested in different forms of communication (verbal, written, body language, etc). I generally paint the female form, bone formations, or abstractions of forms in varying positions and circumstances to see if an idea, emotion, or critique can be communicated using bodies, symbols, and titles.


People are gregarious by nature.  We are not meant for solitary existence.  Our need to affectively communicate with each other is a biological imperative.  If we cannot communicate, we cannot relate and bond, and thusly we cannot mate and survive.  This idea is what spurs my interest in communication, in all its forms. It is one of our most basery needs.  Furthermore, I am interested in what happens when one is not able to communicate affectively, or at all.  I find the psychopathology that arises from these conditions to be incredibly fascinating. The physical, emotional, and mental toll that the inability to communicate can take is unparralled in the human condition. "


*The piece, "Twins" was made specificlly for 'Things Feel Heavy'.




Anna Schaap was born in Grand Rapids, Michigan where she lived until attending the University of Michigan’s School of Art and Design. As an Undergraduate, her primary areas of focus were painting, film and photography, which she was drawn to because of the mediums inherent story telling abilities.  After college, she moved to Detroit, where her interest in communication and symbolism became more of a focus in her paintings. Her current work often utilizes her multi-disciplinary background, overlapping surrealist-like painting with traditional portraiture, while thematically exploring ideas of gender dynamics, communication (and/or the inability to communicate), symbolism and psychopathology.





2010 Bachelor of Fine Arts, Graduated Summa Cum Laude, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor MI


Selected Exhibitions


2015  Curator for "Things Feel Heavy"

Tangent Gallery, Detroit MI


2015  Group Show, "Women"

exhibited 3x4' oil painting titled 'Trophy Rack (You're Not Hard to Leave, Softy)

Detroit Contemporary, Detroit MI


2015  Group Show,  “Art+Work" 

Tangent Gallery, Detroit MI


2015  Performance, “Young Feelings” with Emily Roll

UFO Factory, Detroit MI



2014 apexart, Exhibition panel judge for the ‘Franchise Program’

New York City NY


2014 MOCAD “Monster Drawing Rally” artist participant

MOCAD, Detroit MI


2014 Curatorial Assistant & Assistant Exhibition Coordinator for the apexart ‘Unsolicited Proposal Program’ exhibition “Trans-farm”

Russell Industrial/ MUFI Farm, Detroit MI


2014 Dual-Site Group Show, “Unseen”

exhibited 3x4ft Oil Painting titled ‘The Tipping Point (46 episodes of Buffy)’

The Gallery Project pop-up in Eastern Market, Detroit MI and the Ann Arbor Art Center, Ann Arbor MI


2014 Media City Film Festival, “Regional Program”

Short film ‘White Noise’

Windsor CAN


2014 Group Show, “Untitled Prints”

Exhibited 6 pieces from the series ‘The Ghosts That Haunt Us’

The Practice Space, Detroit MI


2014 Group Show, “The Deep End”

Exhibited 3x4ft Oil Painting titled ‘Being Drunk in Your Funhouse is Not Much Fun’

Whitdel Arts, Detroit MI



2013 Group Show, “Drones”

Collaborative ‘Drone Outline’ piece with the Artist James Bridal

The Gallery Project dual site pop-up in Eastern Market, Detroit, and The Ann Arbor Art Center, Ann Arbor MI


2013 Performance, ‘You’re Not as Nice as You Think You Are’ with Emily Roll at “Noise Brunch”

The Jam Handy, Detroit MI


2013 Group Show, “The Bitters, Fuck It”

exhibited layered glass stereoscope print titled ‘You and I Were Special’

Whitdel Arts, Detroit MI


2013 Performance, ‘Just the Two of Us’ with Emily Roll

Arbor Vitae, Ann Arbor MI


2013 Group Show, “Origins and Endings”

created a video, 2D visual work and a performance piece with the group LOT49 called ‘Everything is Embarrassing’

The Jam Handy, Detroit MI


2013 Group Show “Industrial Complex’” Catalog exhibition

showcased a skull-headed robotic sculpture titled ‘Bird-Mother’

MOCAD, Detroit MI



2012 Solo Show, ‘Leave Me Where You Found Me’,

60 photographs with related Robotic sculptures,

The Yellow Barn, Ann Arbor MI


2010 University of Michigan BFA Thesis Show “Wanderlust”

showcased and curated and multi-media and multiple artist installation called ‘Borderland’

Work Gallery, Ann Arbor MI 


2010 University of Michigan BFA Thesis Show, Film exhibition, ‘Better Than the Ramones’

Michigan Theatre, Ann Arbor MI


2009 University of Michigan “Lightworks Film Festival”

showed two pieces, ‘If I Did It’ & ‘Ophelia Just Fell Out of a Tree’

University of Michigan. Ann Arbor MI


2009 Group Show, “A&D International Exhibit”

Series of photographs from Honduras titled, ‘No Comfiamos Los Extranos’

Slusser Gallery, Ann Arbor MI


2009/08/07 Group Show, “All Student Show”

Slusser Gallery & Work Gallery, Ann Arbor MI





"Race Day" Photographic Series published in the Midwestern Gothic, 2015

“The Ocean and I” Poem in the Seraphine Collectives Zine ‘Pizzine’, 2015

“Film Description and Artist Statement”, Media City Film Festival Program, 2014

“Paper Plates” Short Story/Poetry Prose, The Gambler Magazine, 2013

“Work/Artist Statement and Work Description’, MOCAD Industrial Complex Catalog, 2012

“Work/Work Description’, University of Michigan School of Art and Design Program Catalog, 2010

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