Megan was one of our volunteers this past year, and we loved working with her. Here are some of her thoughts about art and young people:
How did you get started with creating murals?
I have painted for years but haven’t worked on many walls. While still in grade school I worked on several group painting projects that stepped away from the canvas format (theatre props, school cafeteria walls, and an odd project painting the side of a cement mixing truck.) Volunteering for UA was really my introduction to traditional mural painting. I assisted Lina with the Zion project in the Central District as well as adding credit texts to the CF Resource jungle mural and the tetris piece downtown. The piece in the basement of Inscape was my first mural start to finish!
How did you find out about Urban Artworks?
Having lived in Seattle for a few years, I’ve been enjoying the work of UA for a while. In December I began renting a studio space in the Richmark Label building and each time I walked into work I asked myself why I hadn’t involved myself with murals.
How did you feel about working with Urban Artworks?
Great! The staff (all 3 of you!) are so friendly and supportive and it is refreshing to work collaboratively. Given the opportunity to work with UA again I would hands down say yes! The few occasions that I worked with the kids were also really enjoyable; they were eager to paint and they made my work feel more interesting that usual :)
What inspirations inform your work as an artist?
I’m drawn to detail and repetition in both manmade and natural environments. In a way I seek to archive what it is like living in this dot on history’s timeline, where new technology phases out the old and nature reclaims what is no longer in use. Edward Burtynsky’s Manufactured Landscapes inspired me early on with his documentation on how humans have left their mark on the planet. My work explores a similar notion but on a smaller and more personal scale.
What are your thoughts about public art as a tool to reach young people?
Getting kids involved in the process of making art together for the public is a beautiful thing. UA shows them the work required to see a project through completion.
What are some of your past projects that you’re most proud of?
I’m really proud of how my recent piece in Inscape turned out. In the past I’ve worked on lots of series that I enjoyed at the time, but as with many artists, after moving on to the next piece the older ones seem to dull.
What are some ways that public art helps create a sense of community?
During the two weeks of working on the Josh Keyes mural I probably interacted with more folks than I ever have in my studio. The community is interested in what is being done to change their environment and were genuinely interested in the meaning behind the mural. I think they want artists voices and ideas to surround their everyday commute.
How do you think Seattle benefits from public artworks?
Public art speaks to people from all walks of life and of any age group; one mural could mean something different for each viewer. Seattle has a diverse community that is enriched by such a wide range of perspectives.