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About Art: Itchy for a new adventure

I Wanna Be A Princess is one of many creations by Truro artist Megan Connors, who has loved art and creating for the majority of her life.
I Wanna Be A Princess is one of many creations by Truro artist Megan Connors, who has loved art and creating for the majority of her life.

A Truro artist is bringing her creations to life during a special show this month.

“Bread and Circuses”, a solo show of still life paintings by talented emerging artist Megan Connors, is featured this month in the Marigold Cultural Centre’s MMFI Art Gallery, which is located at 605 Prince St. in Truro.

Connors, a native of Cape Breton, has been living in Truro for the past 12 years. Using the traditional genre of observational still-life painting with painterly attention to detail, she explores how palette, rendering, composition and perspective can impact content and how we perceive objects. Connors will be graduating from NSCAD University this April with a BFA in fine arts and art history. She is the recipient of the prestigious Robert Pope Foundation Scholarship for Painting.


How did you start making art?

I have been painting and drawing on and off my whole life, but it was always a side thing that lapsed when I wasn’t engaged in a class or specific project. When I turned 40, I was getting itchy for a new adventure and applied to the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design. NSCAD doesn’t teach you to paint pretty pictures. It teaches you how to be an artist and the role artists have played and can play in the culture and politics of society. Now that I’m finishing school it will be a process of working and developing my process of art making, and figuring out what will sustain an art practice. NSCAD provides excellent opportunities to develop your skills, but also expand your experiences. I did some woodworking, metal working, collage; tried out ceramics, print making, small scale sculpture and there were many other things I didn’t have time to try. NSCAD makes you more confident to try out new things.

 

How do you work?

Developing my own art practice will be a challenge outside the structure of school. I’m an extrovert so the stereotype of the loner artist hiding out in a studio furiously painting is not going to work for me. I like to discuss concepts, get feedback, and interact with others so I will need to look at ways of connecting with other artists, maybe sharing a studio space and teaching some community classes. It’s about finding ways to stay critical about your work when outside the academic world.

 

What’s your background?

I have worked for 25 years as an occupational therapist (OT) in a variety of roles, physical rehab, mental health, community care, palliative care within Canada and overseas. OT is all about figuring out ways to maximize the way we interact with our environment to be as independent and fulfilled in our lives as possible. I’ll always bring that OT lens, that way of approaching the world, with me.

 

What research do you do?

I think research is a crucial area of art making that is often overlooked. As makers we need to be self aware of our historical and contemporary influences. There is a lot of baggage in art, histories of misrepresentation, art used as propaganda, misappropriation. For example, for this still life series I did a lot of reading and looking at images about historical still life painting, how the genre developed over time, the work of contemporary still life painters and this lead to philosophical readings about the relationship between humans and objects. I believe all this information makes your work richer, you can take bits and pieces from other artists that you admire, while figuring out ways to make it yours.

Where else can we find you?

I don’t have an official website yet only a personal Facebook page, but I did make the art images public so people can lurk. Getting a web page is on the agenda.

 

Janice Guinan is a local artist who passionately believes in the importance of visual art. Her About Art column appears each week in the Colchester Weekly News.

“Bread and Circuses”, a solo show of still life paintings by talented emerging artist Megan Connors, is featured this month in the Marigold Cultural Centre’s MMFI Art Gallery, which is located at 605 Prince St. in Truro.

Connors, a native of Cape Breton, has been living in Truro for the past 12 years. Using the traditional genre of observational still-life painting with painterly attention to detail, she explores how palette, rendering, composition and perspective can impact content and how we perceive objects. Connors will be graduating from NSCAD University this April with a BFA in fine arts and art history. She is the recipient of the prestigious Robert Pope Foundation Scholarship for Painting.


How did you start making art?

I have been painting and drawing on and off my whole life, but it was always a side thing that lapsed when I wasn’t engaged in a class or specific project. When I turned 40, I was getting itchy for a new adventure and applied to the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design. NSCAD doesn’t teach you to paint pretty pictures. It teaches you how to be an artist and the role artists have played and can play in the culture and politics of society. Now that I’m finishing school it will be a process of working and developing my process of art making, and figuring out what will sustain an art practice. NSCAD provides excellent opportunities to develop your skills, but also expand your experiences. I did some woodworking, metal working, collage; tried out ceramics, print making, small scale sculpture and there were many other things I didn’t have time to try. NSCAD makes you more confident to try out new things.

 

How do you work?

Developing my own art practice will be a challenge outside the structure of school. I’m an extrovert so the stereotype of the loner artist hiding out in a studio furiously painting is not going to work for me. I like to discuss concepts, get feedback, and interact with others so I will need to look at ways of connecting with other artists, maybe sharing a studio space and teaching some community classes. It’s about finding ways to stay critical about your work when outside the academic world.

 

What’s your background?

I have worked for 25 years as an occupational therapist (OT) in a variety of roles, physical rehab, mental health, community care, palliative care within Canada and overseas. OT is all about figuring out ways to maximize the way we interact with our environment to be as independent and fulfilled in our lives as possible. I’ll always bring that OT lens, that way of approaching the world, with me.

 

What research do you do?

I think research is a crucial area of art making that is often overlooked. As makers we need to be self aware of our historical and contemporary influences. There is a lot of baggage in art, histories of misrepresentation, art used as propaganda, misappropriation. For example, for this still life series I did a lot of reading and looking at images about historical still life painting, how the genre developed over time, the work of contemporary still life painters and this lead to philosophical readings about the relationship between humans and objects. I believe all this information makes your work richer, you can take bits and pieces from other artists that you admire, while figuring out ways to make it yours.

Where else can we find you?

I don’t have an official website yet only a personal Facebook page, but I did make the art images public so people can lurk. Getting a web page is on the agenda.

 

Janice Guinan is a local artist who passionately believes in the importance of visual art. Her About Art column appears each week in the Colchester Weekly News.

Bread Love is the title of this creation by artist Megan Connors.

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