A Celebration of Life: Shawn Mary Vezinaw Hosner

Shawn Mary Vezinaw Hosner
March 11, 1966 – February 14, 2024

Vale Shawn Hosner, altruistic human and co-founder of Thinkspace Projects.

Shawn joined her ancestors on Wednesday, February 14th, after a courageous 15-month battle with stage 4 metastatic breast cancer. She was 57 years young and bravely faced the disease, passing on surrounded by her beloved circle of friends and family.

A CELEBRATION OF SHAWN’S LIFE will be held on Saturday, February 24, from 2 PM to 6 PM at Thinkspace Projects. This event is open to all, just like Shawn’s heart was. See more details at the end of this article.

Celebration-Life  Shawn Mary Vezinaw Hosner

Please consider helping to continue Shawn’s legacy by donating on our GoFundMe here to support Thinkspace Projects. The funds raised will go to medical bills, the memorial service, and to keep the gallery and all the artists it supports on their feet. Much thanks to Daniel Weintraub for organizing this.

Shawn Mary Vezinaw Hosner: An incredible life

Shawn Mary Vezinaw Hosner was born on March 11th, 1966, at St. Bernardine Memorial Center in San Bernardino, California, the daughter of Mary Avis McAdoo Clore and the late Michael Clay Vezinaw. She grew up in Southern California, went to Eisenhower High School in Rialto for two years, and briefly moved to Chandler, Oklahoma, where she graduated from Chandler High School in 1984. Upon graduation, she moved back to the Los Angeles area.

A music fanatic, she went to her first Grateful Dead show in 1987 at the Long Beach Arena and jumped on the bus traveling to see the band play in 48 of 50 states at over 300 shows. Her love for people and counterculture materialized in an incredible career working first at Licorice Pizza and for over a decade at the Tower Records on Sunset Blvd., where she was the personal shopper for many stars, including Stevie Wonder, Michael Jackson, and Elton John. She worked for Caroline Distribution for over a decade, leading her to work with Mike Patton of Faith No More and his independent label Ipecac Recordings, where she was employed for almost another decade. 

Shawn met her husband, Andrew Hosner, in 1999 when he was with Relapse Records in the Philadelphia area while she was distributing their records. After flirting at sales conventions in L.A. and N.Y., they began a long-distance relationship. When he came out for his first visit, he was supposed to fly back on September 11th, 2001. They awoke to the news, and Andrew ended up staying for another two weeks, during which time he solidified he would be with Shawn for the rest of his life. He flew back in late September and told his boss the next day he was packing it and moving out to Los Angeles to be with the love of his life. She flew out, and they made their incredible cross-country journey to Los Angeles together.

Andrew worked alongside her in the music industry at Century Media Records. At the dawn of the 21st century in Los Angeles in 2001, they went to underground art shows like Cannibal Flower, Create Fixate, and the early shows at Merry Karnowsky, Zero One, and Copro Gallery. With a passion for creating community and an eye for art, they launched Thinkspace together in 2005 with good friend L. Croskey from Cannibal Flower.

Their dedication to street art, graffiti, pop surrealism, and the low-brow canon planted their roots as the gallery grew into a leading L.A. force in the New Contemporary Art movement. Interested in supporting fresh artists and exploring a broader conversation beyond the mainstream, Thinkspace opened its doors in a small studio and gallery space in Silver Lake, showing upcoming artists like DALEK, Lola, Chet Zar, Natalia Fabia, Logan Hicks, MEAR ONE, Lesley Reppeteaux, Audrey Kawasaki, Silvia Ji, Joshua Petker, and many others. Shawn curated innovative group shows and gave various artists their first shot on a gallery wall.

“My first solo show was at Thinkspace Gallery in 2006. I was a little bumpkin at Art Center, and Andrew, Shawn & LC made my hooker dreams come true! I was lucky to paint Shawn’s portrait for the show. I loved her long dreads at the time. I feel like we had a blast having a photo shoot; I called her the “Madame” of the gallery. She was always smiling and had this happy, infectious energy! I can’t stress how supportive she was to me and the artists. Always rooting for us. She has touched so many lives so deeply.” – Natalia Fabia

“I met Shawn and Andrew Hosner in 2004 at my mini-solo show in Long Beach, CA. I had dropped out of art school then, was living/working from my parent’s garage, and barely began my art career. Andrew and Shawn were among the first collectors to appreciate my work. They believed in my potential, and their support played a huge role in launching my career. Thinkspace Gallery invited me to showcase my work the following year, and the rest is history. They have been avid believers and supporters of young up-and-coming artists, and I have nothing but gratitude and appreciation for them and the entire Thinkspace Gallery crew. Shawn’s genuine vibe, contagious laughter, and generosity have always made me feel lucky to know her. She will be deeply missed.” – Audrey Kawasaki

Known for their friendly spirit, they attracted amazing visual artists worldwide, many of whom have gone on to prolific careers. Growing larger, Thinkspace moved to Culver City in 2009, joining the cluster of galleries on the rise in the neighborhood and contributing to what was a breakout time in the Los Angeles art scene. As the global art market shifted to Los Angeles, Thinkspace was at the forefront bringing artists like DABS MYLA, Tran Nguyen, Brett Amory, Felipe Pantone Roby Dwi Antono, Cryptik, Esao Andrews, Andy Kehoe, HOW and NOSM, Cinta Vidal, Michael Alvarez, Ekundayo, Josh Keyes, Hilda Palafox and Seth Armstrong to a larger audience and lucrative endeavors. From gallery shows to curating, they bridged their talents and brought their roster out to collaborate and support museum shows, unique event pop-ups, and mural festivals like POW! WOW! HAWAI’I. Expanding their projects beyond Los Angeles, Thinkspace exhibited with partner galleries and organizations in Hong Kong, London, Berlin, New York City, Detroit, and Chicago, among many others, and participated in International Art Fairs.

“So many artists’ careers started through Thinkspace’s doors. Shawn and the gang’s commitment to building a community through art and action has been paramount. They continue to be happy for every artist as they experimented, evolved, or moved on—a steadfast supporter of the arts and artists.  I couldn’t believe it the first time I went inside Shawn and Andrew’s home; floor-to-ceiling art was hanging everywhere, even in the kitchen. It’s a tragedy to the LA art scene.” – Esao Andrews

Thanks to Shawn’s energy, attention, and love, Thinkspace is in its 19th year. As the Senior Director and Financial Coordinator, she helped create and move the gallery into a giant art complex space in the West Adams District. Her devotion to creating exciting opportunities for artists to present their work and investing in their elevation was always at the highest level. Shawn believes in a different approach as the low-brow art movement lives and breathes. She knows collaboration is critical to getting a good crowd and spreading things by word of mouth. Along with her partners, they knew connecting with like-minded spaces around the country and the world would help strengthen their name and help expose the New Contemporary movement further.

“My last show at Thinkspace was about time and memory. I revisited key moments and paintings from my life. The show’s centerpiece was three large paintings made in remembrance of close friends whom I lost along the way. It taught me a lot about my grief, making those paintings, forcing myself to look back and inhabit the younger version of myself, and remembering the loss I felt, both at the time and now. But it also taught me that those friends of mine, in a small but very real way, live on. In my paintings, in my memories, in my heart. They live on when I think about them every day, and they inspire me to keep painting and telling my story – and theirs – through my work. It’s maybe a small comfort, especially when the sadness of Shawn’s passing is so near. I wish my friends were still here. I wish Shawn were still here. But those aren’t things I can change, unfortunately. But her memory? That’s Shawn’s legacy, and it’s ours now. So, think of Shawn while you paint. Think of Shawn when you go to a gallery or your next concert. Think of Shawn while you follow the Dead on tour for an unfathomably long time. Think of Shawn when you go to a food festival or volunteer to help people, cats, or goats. Live your life like she did, treasuring all of the moments. I’m remembering Shawn’s laugh right now. A sharp HA that I hope will stay with me a long time.” – Scott Listfield

In her nearly twenty years with Thinkspace, Shawn helped organize exhibitions for the Long Beach Museum of Art, the Fullerton Museum, the Museum of Art and History in Lancaster, the Ft. Wayne Museum of Art, the Mesa Contemporary Arts Museum, the University of Arizona Museum of Art in Tucson, and the Urban Nation Museum in Berlin, Germany. Recent collaborations with Tlaloc Studios, Antler Gallery, The Brand Library & Art Center, the Walter N, Marks Center for the Arts, and Muzeo Museum and Cultural Center have helped to fuel awareness and provide space for an entirely new generation of artists of color on the rise. Born and raised in Southern California, Shawn took great pride in advocating for these artists in Los Angeles. 

“Shawn’s impact extends far beyond her immediate circle, touching the lives of those fortunate enough to have encountered her. Her genuine care and unwavering support serve as a source of inspiration, reminding us of the transformative power of love and selflessness. In a world often fraught with chaos and uncertainty, Shawn’s presence is a beacon of hope, a reminder of the beauty that lies in simple acts of kindness and the enduring power of human connection.” – Ozzie Juarez

Giving artists a platform included Shawn’s dedication to collecting. From her years in the music industry, her vinyl, CD, and autograph collection could go up against most. Their home is a mind-blowing, floor-to-ceiling art assemblage featuring over 700 works of art, the who’s who of the last 25 years of arts and culture. Her support of the arts was heartfelt, and her collection reinforced the importance of investing in artwork. She created an exceptional experience in her home, expanding from the gallery to a more intimate conversation reflecting her personal taste. Andrew plans to donate the artworks to various local museums as a part of their legacy. 

She was the ying to my yang; she helped to curate the gallery’s vision just as much as I. Her relationships with the artists were just as important as mine. We are both connected with different folks on different things, the perfect pair, and it’s hard to fathom the flow moving ahead, but we shall figure it out and use her energy and shining light as our guide. She was the ultimate gallery mom, lovingly referred to as such by so many.

Andrew Hosner

A generous and giving woman, Shawn cast a wide net of service into the large community of Los Angeles. During COVID, she volunteered every Saturday with her friends at Nourish LA, a non-profit committed to providing food for families in need.  She spent her free time every Monday and Tuesday of her busy schedule driving around Los Angeles, volunteering for Meals on Wheels, and bringing food to homebound older adults, most of whom she became very close with. Shawn loved animals and volunteered once a week at her local animal shelter.

Shawn leaves behind her husband Andrew and their beloved cats Otter, Newman, Frida, and Lily; her mother, Mary, sister Dana Peavey and brother-in-law, Jeff Peavey; her brother Dean Clore; nieces Heather Pinsonneault and husband Mark, Hannah Peavey and fiancée Ryan Labelle, great niece Alana Pinsonneault, stepsisters Jeanette House and Michelle Vezinaw, and stepbrothers Joey Indrieri and Dominic Indrieri. 

A celebration of life

A CELEBRATION OF SHAWN’S LIFE will be held on Saturday, February 24, from 2 PM to 6 PM at Thinkspace Projects. This event is open to all, just like Shawn’s heart was.

Our thanks to Andrew Hosner for providing the below information, and giving the community an opportunity to celebrate Shawn’s life.

Shawn Mary Vezinaw Hosner
March 11, 1966 to February 14, 2024

At 4pm there will be a special reading of Shawn’s favorite song, followed by the release of a flock of white doves to help usher her spirit away.

This is not a memorial, this will be a party in her honor. Shawn stressed to me she wanted us happy and sharing fond memories of her, not mourning her. There will be an open bar and we will have tacos. There will be an alter, so please bring something to leave and honor her by.

This will all revolve around an art show that her husband Andrew is putting together to showcase the amazing life she led, so that all may get to know her like he did.

The evening’s soundtrack will be provided by Shawn, as she planned for this… so be sure to bring your dancing shoes, the good grooves will be flowing.

Memorial tattoos from her good friend GoopMassta featuring her iconic tarantula tattoo, a Hello Kitty head, the Grateful Dead dancing bear, the Zoso symbol from Led Zeppelin and a recycling symbol will be available to all who want a lasting memory from this special day.

We are working on some special surprises too. Hopefully Shawn is watching down over the proceedings and can help align the heavens to make them happen. 

Thinkspace Projects
4207 W. Jefferson Blvd.
4217 W. Jefferson Blvd.
Los Angeles 90016

We love you all. Shawn loved everyone. Please come help us say goodbye to one of the best humans that all of us have ever had the pleasure to know.

About Author

Internationally exhibited artist and creator of Wooden Ophelia, Bella Harris is not only the Online Editor at Beautiful Bizarre Magazine, she also oversees all staff writers and helps support website functionality and development. As a contributing writer for the website, active copy editor, and editorial photographer, she plays a vital role in the growth of Beautiful Bizarre Magazine while working closely with advertisers and artists. Wooden Ophelia is a contemporary collection of original moon designs, handmade woodwork, artwork furnishings, and sacred crystals... all to enchant your home.


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