…And I’m almost done with my series! The latest one is of my dad, and this will be my final piece for the series. His neck is a little funky at the moment, and there are areas on his face that I want to rework, but overall, I’m nearly finished. Then I’ll return to three other pieces, work on fixing them up, and then I’ll be done with my collage work during spring break. This senior thesis stuff has been a lot of work, but I’m proud of what I’ve created. These are, without a doubt, the strongest six pieces I’ve created thus far.
March 27 – July 27, 2008
Smithsonian’s Ripley Center; Washington, D.C.
Map and Gallery Info
In the summer of 2007, Megan interned at the National Portrait Gallery (NPG). After spending a summer paging through several old art catalogues, Megan became more familiar with NPG’s previous exhibitions and she became more interested in portraiture—she found herself focusing more on figures in her artwork. Her internship also inspired the work she did for her senior art thesis exhibition.
During Megan’s internship, she entered the Smithsonian’s annual juried community art show. Her collage, “Girl with Glasses,” was acceptedand displayed in the 2008 exhibition at the Smithsonian’s Ripley Center. Megan chose this particular work for her submission because she felt it represented her experience at NPG the best and it reflected the type of work the museum has—portraiture.
The exhibition showcased the work of several members of the Smithsonian community, including employees, interns, and volunteers. The work ranged from illustration to pastel work to mixed media sculpture.
The following was the introduction to the exhibition:
This juried exhibition, the Smithsonian Community Committee’s third art show, underscores the often hidden talents within the Smithsonian community. While we received over a hundred and seventy entries, only seventy could be selected for display. The subjects of these works and the materials from which they are made are as diverse as the people who comprise the Smithsonian family and the collections of the Institution itself.
Side by side are images and forms inspired by the lure of distant lands and the love of the familiar. These creations of paint, canvas, paper, charcoal, pastel, ink, fabric, metal, stone, clay and light speak of the artists’ fascination with the world around them—objects, ideas, and people often encountered through their work with the Smithsonian. They are evidence of the inspired, after-hours activities of our staff, research fellows, interns, contractors, and volunteers. Their reserves of energy, imagination, and skillfulness enhance all aspects of our everyday work.
This morning was the opening reception for the new exhibition that I have a piece in, “Artists at Work.” My collage, “Girl With Glasses,” is hanging at the Smithsonian’s Ripley Center. The exhibition will be open from March 27th to May 18th 2008. It features 70 works chosen out of about two-hundred submitted pieces. I took a few pictures of the exhibition, as well as where my collage is hanging (they’re a little blurry because of the dim lighting):
At the moment, my mom’s collage is finished. But by finished, I mean it has yet to be seen by my committee. I’ll most likely make more adjustments later.
Here’s the completed collage for my senior thesis exhibition. This portrait was inspired by my cousin Scott, who passed away from cancer back when I was in high school. He was thirteen at the time, but now he lives on in our memories and the artwork made by my family (there are a lot of creatives in my family).
I’ve been working a lot on my collage of Scott–the background is taking forever! I’ve realized that the process of making collages is very time consuming. Not only am I busy flipping through magazines, trying to find the right colors, but I’m cutting the pages into tiny pieces to reassemble them to form my own images. It takes a while, but seeing the progress I make is well worth the time put in. Here’s the collage of Scott and the more developed collage of Ali.
I need to work on his nose more and the background and his shirt still need a lot more work. Also, his hair needs to be reworked so that he has a more rounded head and not a rectangular looking one.
I’ve been trying to work on my senior thesis a bit by creating a few pieces for my next committee meeting. These pieces probably won’t make it to the actual show–I’m pretty sure they’ll be butchered at my next meeting. Nevertheless, I’ll continue onward.
Anyway, for my show, I’ve decided to do collages, with portraits as the subject matter. During my winter break, I took advantage of the free time I had and got started on a sample piece to show my committee. This piece below is how far I got along with the portrait of my mother. It isn’t finished because it needs more shadowing on her face and better work with the wall in the background. I’m not satisfied with the composition either–I’ll probably have to take new pictures of my mother the next time I see her so I can make a better portrait of her.
Today, I worked on a sketch for one of my future collages, of my cousin Ali. I like this composition a lot better and I hope to get started on it later this week.
And that’s everything for now. I’ll probably work on a few more sketches tonight of other portraits I plan on collaging.
This past week was exciting for me because I received an email the other day about an exhibition that will be up in March. I had completely forgotten that when I was interning at the National Portrait Gallery this past summer, I applied to a juried exhibition that’s only open to Smithsonian employees–thus I had to apply while I was an intern. This week was when they were notifying artists whose work was chosen for the show.
I didn’t expect that my work was going to be accepted, and now I’m really excited. The exhibition will be at the Smithsonian Ripley Center which is on the mall in Washington, D.C.
So if you’re in Washington, D.C., you should check out the exhibition. It will be up from March 20th-May 18th 2008.
December 2007 – May 2008
Arts and Letters Gallery; Elon, North Carolina
Megan Coyle’s collages “Feeling Blue,” “Pink Flower,” “Orange Lily,” and “Girl with Glasses,” and her mixed media painting, “Abstract Trees,” were approved for an exhibition in the Arts and Letters Gallery. The art was put on display in the fall of 2007 and was taken down in the spring of 2008. The gallery was located in an artist community and Megan’s work was exhibited in the main entrance gallery space. This show gave Megan a chance to share her work with other artists in the area.
The collages she selected were her favorite pieces that she had done at this time. She hadn’t focused on collage in her art for a while, and this exhibition helped jump-start her creativity and fueled a bit of the inspiration for her senior thesis work.
This first picture is the piece that won the juror’s choice at the student juried exhibition. It was actually my least favorite of the three I entered–the other two are below. But I guess that just goes to show that what one person likes another person doesn’t like.
This semester is a rough one for me art-wise. It’s hard to get inspired these days when I have so little time to focus on my artwork. Nevertheless, I’m honored that I won an award for a piece I did this semester when I didn’t have as much time as I’d wish I’d have to work on each piece. The fridge piece is probably my favorite I’ve done this semester because I had more time and energy to put into it. The first painting down below is actually something I made towards the end of last semester.
I suppose all I really can do at this point is focus on my English work and unfortunately, my art will come second. But next semester I’ll have plenty of time to devote to my art making, which is good, considering that’s when my senior show will be.