FEATURED ARTIST: Stephanie Mead
The $2 Art Contest makes a liar out of me sometimes. I spend a lot of time writing rejection letters. I craft them individually and tailor them to the artist; however, I say the same things to many artists in the same month because artists often have the same challenges. This month I wrote letters that included tips about including statements for each image, making sure that there are plenty of images from one series to view, as well as reminders about keeping biographical personal and meaningful and relevant.
This month’s artist broke all of those guidelines, and I am certain that some of the rejected artists will send sour milk thoughts (and emails) my way as a result of my breaking my own rules. But, I just couldn’t walk away from this work. The layers and colors and the faces. Send sweet key lime truffle thoughts to me instead, please.
I am proud to announce the Featured Artist chosen from the January and February entries is Stephanie Mead. Her artwork captures moments–not in a pastel-of-a-wagon-wheel sort of way– but from a sort of zen-like, meditative sort of way. I find myself contemplating these scenes and these people as though they are a part of my reality. It is simple, speechless intimacy.
Stephanie Mead was born and raised in Texas but moved to California when she was 18. Her work has shifted paths over the years, being influenced by the flat sweeping landscape of Texas, the drastic change of environment/people when she moved to California (and now to New York). But, the urge was always to create.
“I have made art my whole life.”
Sometimes Mead’s work depicts dreams or nightmares, other times the focus is on the real, present, sometimes taking a political standpoint through her work. Mead’s work is hand-made, real, and is a direct response to life. Mead now lives in New York to pursue her lifelong love of art.
What do you consider your media? Do you primarily consider it mixed media? Something else? “I guess I consider my work mixed media painting/collage. I have been working in this style now for a few years. I am a collector of little papers, materials, things that I feel attached to. These become the canvas for my visions. I cut, tear away, cover, and glue, paint, and draw until my vision is achieved. In this way, I consider myself a mixed media painter incorporating collage.”
Clearly, portraiture seems to appear in about 1/2 of your work. What is the significance, if any? “I am influenced by anything that touches me profoundly. Social changes, my own passion for life, and human connections inspire me. Sometimes my vision is just best expressed with portraiture.”
You know we have to talk about food. What are your favorites? “I eat beans, meat, and veggies on a daily basis. Saturdays I completely binge and eat whatever I want. It is the most delicious thing in the world to wake up Saturday morning and be able to eat lots of all kinds of stuff. BUT with that said, I really appreciate a good bowl of chili. I make a pretty mean one.” *Editor’s Note: Just once, I would appreciate it if one of the healthy freaks that get featured here looked like a dog. I try to deny that you are what you eat, but the headshot makes it difficult. For the record, I am mumbling the word “bitch” under my breath, luckily no one can hear me.
What about snack foods? “I have a strong, healthy relationship with almonds and peanut butter. I also love key lime truffles and would probably do anything for them.” Finally, Stephanie. Always LEAD with the truffles. Truffles get you everywhere, ha.
So, what’s coming up next for you? “Right now I am on my way to becoming a member at the Art Students League of New York. Ideally I will create the right connections and showcase my work in galleries someday soon. I am young and experimenting still, so my next step is to keep making art.
“I must say I am fortunate enough to be doing all the things I want to be doing at this moment. I hope for the chance to make lots of art. Thank you for opening this door for me by choosing me as your artist of the month.”
No, thank you, Stephanie Mead for reminding me that I really HAVE NOT seen it all. I love being confronted with the fact that the ways to express what you have to say are as varied as the people who say them. Speechless Intimacy. I should talk less. Lesson learned…maybe.
Learn more about Stephanie Mead online!
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