Briefly describe the work that you do.
I am a site-responsive artist. My process involves the use of simple, temporary materials that evolve into sculptural work that largely depends on a moment in time. With twine and often blacklight, I make three-dimensional drawings to emphasize obscured elements within recognizable objects and correlate the symbolic with lived experience. My work is multi-sensory and requests participatory involvement: lines expand and contract in space in a visually manipulative manner to engulf the visual senses. I create a kinetic and relational art experience that reawakens for a moment the simple intrigue of looking and encourages the appreciation of spaces for what they are while also examining their hidden meanings. Inspired by both interior and exterior spaces, I look for sites where nature has been permeated by manufactured elements or ways in which structures can communicate certain particulars about the current human condition. Both natural and synthetic light is used as a drawing medium to bring my sculptural installations to life, the lines becoming ethereal elements that establish otherworldliness and invoke curiosity as they expand and contract in space
At what point in your life did you decide to become an artist?
I have always been an artist. My parents tell stories about how nothing in the house was ever safe because I considered everything to be an art supply. As early as three I was complaining that adults did take me seriously as an artist.
Tell us a little about your background and how that influences you as an artist.
I grew up in Columbus, Ohio mainly around musicians and graffiti artists. I was always inspired by my friends but lacked the confidence they had in their ability. My first studio was in an old downtown warehouse divided into artists’ workspace and practice/recording space for bands. Working there made me feel a part of a community. The bands I worked around had a huge influence on me and I painted numerous band member portraits.
I initially lacked the confidence to be a professional artist and decided to use my BFA to return to school and become certified to teach high school. I taught at an urban public high school for four years but never lost my ambition for the arts. In 2010, I left my hometown to attend the Savannah College of Art and Design. There I had opportunity to study in Lacoste, France where I met and worked with artist Teresita Fernandez who encouraged me to work larger and with alternative media. Teresita agreed to intern me at her Brooklyn studio in April 2012 and I finished my degree remotely in New York City.
My need to maintain a studio practice has also augmented my process of creation. These days I am nomadic, traveling between residencies and exhibitions. This is an expensive evocation one that is difficult to fund without full-time employment. The use of string grew out of my need to make large works of art on a very tight budget.
What types of conceptual concerns are present in your work? How do those relate to the specific process(es) or media you use?
Recently I have been working to communicate my three-dimensional ideas two-dimensionally. In July 2013 I began a new series of paintings while at the Wassiac Project that I call negative space paintings. I took a shape from a simple installation based off a parabolic curve and repeated the shape over and over again on linen canvases with white and iridescent white acrylic. I have also been embroidering the canvases, a way to directly incorporate the line from the installations into the painting. The stitching is my conceptual comment on painting itself: the literal deviation of the grid with the line.
The installations themselves are a spatial explorations partially inspired by Gaston Bachelard’s Poetic of Space. My visual research is an attempt to communicate ideas about current events such as social injustice and financial segregation utilizing the bridge metaphor as a way to encourage communication between the elite, middle and lower classes. The symbolic nature of a bridge is one that can take on multiple meanings such as the multitude of ways we become connected/disconnected from one another. Encountering a multi-sensory installation can have the power challenge preconceived notions of social order.
We once heard Chuck Close say he did not believe in being inspired, rather in working hard everyday. What motivates you in your studio practice?
I would have to agree with Chuck Close. Often I don’t have time to feel inspired to make work. Rather, I am simply reacting to various opportunities whether it’s a proposal, grant or residency application. I believe one of the keys to a success as an artist is always say yes to an opportunity no matter how big or overwhelming. Everything always seems to work out in the end.
When artists living or non-living influence your work?
Teresita Fernandez had a huge influence on me. Working in her studio as an intern allowed me to see the day-to-day of a professional artist. It helped me to understand the business side of things. A few of my other art heroes are Ai Weiwei, Andy Goldsworthy, Katharina Grosse, Eva Hesse, Robert Smithson, James Turrell, Richard Serra, Gerhardt Richter, Mark Rothko, Christo and Jeanne-Claude and Agnes Martin.
When you are not making art what types of activities and interests do you engage in?
These days, I feel as though I am constantly making art. Everyday I wake up, sit at my desk and look at my list of upcoming deadlines. I work down the list, cross off the completed proposal/application/research subject and move on to the next. Often I divide the day in half: mornings are spent writing whereas afternoons and evenings are spent making. It is never ending: the writing influences the making and visa versa. I try and get daily physical exercise as it burns off the anxiety. I also love cooking, gardening and watching any kind of live music.
Megan Mosholder, born in Columbus, Ohio, is a conceptual artist that operates in the real-world setting of the social-political landscape through site-responsive, sculptural installations. She is a recent graduate from the Savannah College of Art and Design where she developed her thesis body of work, A Tale of Two Bridges (2012), an exhibition that explored old conversations about city planning, race and power, older histories, and the more current social and political climate in Savannah, GA. Her exhibition history includes an installation in Lacoste, France, a body of work that speaks of the lasting impression a place of beauty can leave on an individual. She has authored five successful grant applications, including one from the Foundation for Contemporary Arts and her work has been published several times internationally in magazines and periodicals such as the Huffington Post and Hi-Fructose. Presently, Megan is attending multiple artist residencies including a fellowship at The Wassaic Project and the Vermont Studio Center where she has been developing a new body of work.
All images copyright of the artist and used with their permission.