Omnia

I’m really excited to install part of Convergence again. It’s so much fun to see how the character of the piece can change from space to space. It is really beautiful in the Vernon Nester Gallery at Missouri Valley College in Marshall, Missouri and will be up until the end of February. I also have some collages and a few examples of my plein air embroidery. The show is called Omnia because it’s a collection of all my different mediums. The gallery reception and artist talk will be on January 31st from 4-6pm. The talk will be at 4:15pm. Come on by and say hi!

Convergence II: Converge Harder

Convergence II: Converge Harder

Lighting always seems to be an issue with this piece. I’m really tempted to throw down on some spots.

In other cool news, I am going to be on TV! I will be doing an interview with Rick Jey on JCTV’s “Mid-Missouri Art News. We do the taping on Febuary 13th. Not sure when it’ll be out so stay tuned to the old social media. It’s another great opportunity to talk about art and inspire some future artists. Can’t beat that!

4 x 4: Midwest Invitational

I’m embarrassed. Embarrassed by how long it has taken me to write this post despite how awesome this show has been and how great the people at the Springfield Art Museum are. Now that the show is over (and life has calmed down a bit) I can write about how fun this was.

The 4 x 4: Midwest Invitational is an annual show at Springfield Art Museum that features an artist from Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, and Arkansas. I am tickled pink to have been included in this show along side the amazing talents of Shawn Bitters, Jason Cytacki, and Dawn Holder. It was amazing how our works played off each other to create this vision of chaos and post apocalyptic regeneration. Maybe it is a sign of our times? Something in the zeitgeist? Because we certainly didn’t consult each other about what we were making.

I split myself between three installations and three wall pieces. All of them used textiles or fiber techniques in some way. I did get a little mix media and unconventional materials in places. Not unsurprisingly it was really hard to photograph some of the fabrics.

I could take you through every piece but writing is not my strong suit. Needless to say if you see something brightly colored and vaguely planty (except for that neon hanging tree, that’s Dawn’s) it’s mine.

The Stalks

The Stalks

The Stalks began with finding a rug hooking tool at Meals on Wheels and becoming obsessed with rug hooking car upholstery. I just love the shiny flatness with loops of yarn sticking out. From there it was a downward spiral into pouring concrete bases and spray painting dryer hose. Half the fun of the opening was talking about my work with people and having them ask if such and such really was :insert random hardware supply: They do a lot of museum tours with schools and getting to walk inside The Stalks was a real hit with the kids.

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One of my favorite photos. Wouldn’t it be cool if one of them grew up to make weird art because of this show?!

Up Coming:

I have two pieces at The Box Gallery in Kansas City right now until January 24th. The show is Ekphrasis, an amazing experiment that brings visual artists and poets together and has them riff on each other. There will be a book launch party next week so stay tuned to Instagram for details @MadMegh I was paired with writer, speaker and Food Sleuth radio host Melinda Hemmelgarn. She doesn’t mince words about the important issues of our times and she has an interesting verbal translation of my soft sculpture, “Handsy”.

And if I can’t get myself together for a post in December - I will have work at Missouri Valley College the month of January and February with more details to come.

Nothin' But Rain

McKendree University moved their Get Out! Paint Out! plein air painting event back to the beginning of September this year. Which is wonderful because August was such a blur I would not have made it anyways.

But the rain.

It rained so much that Saturday, Lebanon became an island. They wouldn’t let anyone leave town. Luckily rain doesn’t mess up threads too much and I found a nice spot under my friend Amy’s porch. Her back yard is always full of magical plants and sculptures to embroider. This year I was particularly attracted to a grouping of terra cotta statues.

Garden Nymphs in the Rain

Garden Nymphs in the Rain

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The light moves so fast! I wanted to work with the stitches as if they were large blobs of paint. I wasn’t so concerned with covering the fabric completely. It is nice seeing the purple peek through here and there.

I pulled out one of my new tricks for this piece. The rain drops in the back ground are iridescent thread. Depending on how it is lit, it shines. I was inspired by Van Gogh’s rain paintings. They are so masterful, it is breathe taking.

This Paint Out I decided to stay really small. Both pieces are only three inches by three inches. Sunday I went out for round two down on the main drag of Lebanon, IL. There wasn’t any rain but I still tucked myself under an awning just in case.

I’d Rather Be Painting

I’d Rather Be Painting

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I chose a lighter linen with grey marbling to represent the cloudiness of the sky. Buildings are hard! It’s difficult to get the fine details and keep everything in perspective. I also think that the weave of my linen was a little too loose to allow me to be accurate.

As you can see, I was fighting cars and trucks all day to see the bottom half of the buildings. I made up my friend Amy sitting in the glow of the gallery doing office work when she would “Rather Be Painting”. No regrets embroidering here. Wouldn’t we all just rather be making art?

Look for me next @ Vulpus Bastille in Kansas City the First Friday in October. I’ll have some collages there with Justin Border and Jen Appel. We’ll be exploring Signal to Noise.

Farm Report

We’ve had a bumper crop of Thai chilies this year and I can’t wait to make Sriracha. I’m slowly drawing down the garden which means some epic fried green tomatoes and egg plant parmesan. It is apple season! I’m canning apple sauce and apple butter pretty much every day. Apple crisp has become my new breakfast of choice. Gotta use up those apples somehow.

Convergence

It took me longer to get this post written then I planned, August has been a very packed month for me. Thank you so much to everybody that came out to see me at the fair and support the huge undertaking that is a fabric installation. It was a great success and I really enjoyed my many hours of talking to people about it. Hopefully more people will take up art making and enter their works at the fair!

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I'd love to give a shout out to Stephannie Maskowski who helped me sew this massive project. Without her tireless dedication I'm not sure I would have been motivated to put in a few hours everyday kneeling before my cutting mat in the hallway pinning fabric. Luckily, I bumped into my art buddy Steven Gorman at the reception and talked him into helping me install those first two days. Without his excellent sense of space and spitballin' style who knows what this installation would have looked like. And lets not forget the gallery watchers that were always ready to hold the fabric or hand me my needle when it fell off the ladder. And a special thanks goes out to Alan Weaver who said yes to my crazy ideas. Thank you all so much. It takes a village to make artistic ideas happen.

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And if you haven't heard my "spiel", which almost became a mantra after repeating it hundreds of times a day for my five day residency, keep reading. Convergence is made of 100% recycled materials. The fabric come from the linings of skirts, shirts and dresses and was donated by Lauri Davidson of the Kansas City Fiber Guild. Stephannie and I serged the fabric for this installation over four months using a crazy quilt type approach because every scrap mattered. It consists of four panels that at 3' x 46' long. And it took a total of three days and a whole roll of fishing line to install.

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If you know of an institution or individual that would like to host this installation in the future please give me an email at meghan@madmegh.com

Dimensional Cloth

I'm in a book! Dimension Cloth came out at the end of June and you can now order it on Amazon. How cool is that?

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The book is gorgeous and is a compendium of extremely talented artists taking fabric into the third dimension. I am really honored to be included among people I have been following on Pinterest and Instagram for years. There are also several artists' works I haven't seen before which, I might add, are stunning. All the creativity featured in this book has given me so many more ideas for my work. 

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It's definitely no coincidence that a piece of my work is featured in the table of contents under space. In one way or another, all of my works are about space from carving out space or enclosing it. Moral, the piece here in the table of contents, was the piece I showed at the Missouri State Fair last year. The curator of the Springfield Art Museum saw it, contacted me for a studio visit, and now I'm going to be showing in the 4 x 4 show at the museum later next month. It's beautiful the way things intersect.

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It is just so neat thinking of myself in a book that you could find in a library on a rainy day somewhere far away. This whole process was started a couple of years ago. Part of me wishes that my current work was in the book, but that's learning and growing as an artist. The work you are doing now is the most interesting or innovative.

Upcoming Dates:

I'll be an Artist in Resident at the Missouri State Fair August 9-13th. I'll be installing a huge fabric installation from the ceiling on the second floor of the fine arts building.

Weaving the River will be at InterUrban ArtHouse in Overland Park from August to September for their big artist symposium on diversity. The opening reception will be August 17th from 5-8pm.

Opening reception for 4x4 at the Springfield Art Museum on August 24th, 5:30-7pm.

Farm Report:

We are in full tilt here. Chinese long beans, cucumbers and tomatoes coming off the vine in bushels. Blackberry jam has been canned and we are just about to can peaches this weekend. I'm thinking of both peach chutney and peach butter to fill the pantry this year.

Juneteenth with Weaving the River

Join Weaving the River in commemorating Juneteenth this Friday from 6-8pm at the Community Health Council of Wyandotte County. We are so excited to celebrate the Quindaro community with an evening of storytelling and music featuring Reverend Stacy Evans and the Allen Chapel Choir. Learn about the rich history of Quindaro, Allen Chapel AME and Western University.

If you can't join us Friday be sure to check us out for the closing reception June 29th 6-8pm when the Elder Statesmen of KC Jazz's Small Big Band will be playing.

This has been a truly amazing project full of so many great connections and stories. It's been a real treat to work with Jen Appel, Justin Border and Jillian Youngbird on this project. And it is impossible to express how much I've grown as an artist and a person through working together. My hope is that our work brings about positive change for the Quindaro community through acknowledging it's significance in our nations past.

Here's a few photos of us installing at the Community Health Council. If you can't make our receptions please swing by any time they are open to hear the soundscape and make a wish for the future of Quindaro. We will be releasing them into the Missouri river after all our installations are complete.

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Weaving the River will also be at the InterUrban ArtHouse in Overland Park. Our opening reception is August 17th 6-8pm.

To find out more about our project check out Weaving the River

Fondle Friendly

Fondle Friendly is a grande experiment. An entire body of work that can be touched, picked up and moved around. Touching the art in a gallery setting is so taboo. "Do Not Touch" is preached to us from childhood. But touch is key to how we interact with the world and it can be an important way to experience art. As a fiber artist, the feel of fabric and string is my favorite way to experience my work. It's the interplay in textures that sets textile art apart. I'm extending that pleasure to my audience and encouraging  interaction through arrangement. The components are modeled after vintage medical illustrations because the familiarity of the human body inspires a caress.

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It all started with a flesh colored velvet shirt that I cut up to make nipples. Those nipples turned into a ball of faux fur and vinyl. Something repulsive and intriguing, familiar yet strange.

Fondle Friendly

@Kansas City Artists Coalition

Snap Space

May 11th-June 1st.

Find me at the reception Friday, May 11th at 6pm.

Weaving the River

I'm  excited to share with you the culmination of a project that has been in the works for the last year and a half. On a warm night in January, the members of the PolyArtery Collective gathered at a KC coffee house to create an immersive art experience to reflect the magnificent history and the devastating circumstances of the Quindaro community. Our group is formed by Jen Appell, mistress of song, Jillian Yougbird, photographer and story teller extraordinaire, and Justin Border, graphic design guru. Weaving the River will be at the Quindaro Symposium, April 20th and 21st, at Memorial Hall in Kansas City, Kansas. Follow this link for registration and more information.

Quindaro Symposium

It has been amazing working with these three because our gifts and skill sets blend so well. We have collected inspiration from the old Quindaro site, visited museums, conducted interviews, and worked on grant applications. This has been a challenging subject but it was always the joy of working together and passion for our project that has led us forward. I've grown so much as an artist and a person through working with these immensely talented artists. I hope that you will come, learn the history and work towards a brighter future for the Quindaro community.

You can find out more about our project and supporters at Weaving the River

PolyArtery touring Quindaro ruins

PolyArtery touring Quindaro ruins