In anticipation of Art for Jobs 2017, we are excited to announce that Meredith Olinger will once again be contributing her artwork to the show!
Last year, Meredith Olinger was one of the featured artists at our annual fundraiser, Art for Jobs. Advance had recently acquired a 24,000 sq. foot warehouse and now had the opportunity to try some new things. Meredith was simultaneously trying out some new methods in her studio. She began painting the walls of her studio and after a few conversations with Kate Lareau, head of Art for Jobs at the time, they decided to present the idea of artist walls to a few other artists that would be contributing artwork to the show. They ended up with 8′ x 8′ walls that were made in the warehouse by Mike Shaw, Advance’s Program Manager, and Walter Brown, Work Life and GED graduate, as a new way of displaying the artists’ work. The artists had total freedom with the walls and could choose to paint the whole wall, part of the wall, or use it to hang their artwork.
Meredith decided to paint the whole wall, a method she had begun experimenting with in her studio. The result was a spectacular piece of artwork on display at Art for Jobs, as well as a transformation of Meredith’s work as she began to shift from canvas to wall. The following is her story. We cannot wait to she what she has to share with us this year!
“I work primarily on the wall. This hasn’t always been the case. For a long time, I worked on a traditional canvas, or in sculpture. However, I was always experimenting with new formats and ways of displaying my work; nothing ever felt right.
In the spring of 2016, in a complete act of boredom, I doodled on the wall of my studio. The doodle soon took over the entire studio. I liked what I saw, so I posted it on Instagram, not thinking much of it. I was soon contacted by Kate Lareau, who was planning and executing Advance Memphis’s upcoming show, Art for Jobs. She had had an idea for the show: what if artists were given entire walls on which to display their work or, even better, on which to create new work? We started hashing out this idea, and this plan became a reality. Artists were given a wall in which to create whatever they want. Some simply displayed a gallery wall of their work, some made large scale paintings, others created a backdrop for their small-scale work. Every artist approached it differently.
My wall was 8’ x 8’. I didn’t realize that that wall would change the trajectory of my work completely. I think I finished that 8’ x 8’ wall in a week. Which is crazy, considering the size, but working that large felt so natural for me.
Meredith’s Artist Wall at Art for Jobs 2016
After I completed this wall, I quickly started taking over the walls of my studio. I stopped making small scale work. The studio became the work. I drew on the wall, painted on the wall, and applied my own wallpaper to the wall. It was new and exciting; I was no longer making a window for the viewer to look into, I was creating a space for the viewer to walk into. I had stepped from the safe world of painting into the wonky world of installation.
Meredith’s work on the walls of her studio
For my graduate thesis exhibition, I knew I had to go big or go home. I also knew that I would have a whole new set of challenges: how was I to take my work out of the studio and into the gallery? I decided I needed to build a space, despite my mediocre carpentry skills. I had three months to make 3 pieces that were 12’ long, and I had to build the walls on which they would be displayed. The Advance Memphis graduates did such a great job on the Art for Jobs’ walls; I thought maybe they could help me out again. I commissioned 9, 4’ x 8’ walls. This way, they could be moved in and out of the gallery relatively easily, but then could be pieced together to create the appearance of a seamless wall. Again, Advance Memphis was crucial for my artistic development.
Meredith’s Graduate Thesis
10. 192+ pieces of art from 55+ artists!
…and we’re still working. Prices range from $20 to $4000, so there’s something for everyone. 7 artists have created 8×8 free-standing artist’s walls: some are murals, some feature as many as 12 pieces of art. We’ve cataloged some of the art here, much more is available!
ALL OF MORGAN’S WORK FOR ART FOR JOBS 2016 CAN BE SEEN IN THE ONLINE PREVIEW CATALOG.
“Many aspects of art interest Morgan. He doesn’t claim any one favorite medium, but his specialties include sculpture, ceramics and painting. Upon graduating, Morgan doesn’t anticipate that his degree will change his status as an artist.” This quote from The Daily Helmsman in 2014, written as Morgan was wrapping up his bachelor of art degree at age 72, captures Don’s wide interests and down to earth spirit.
Morgan has been represented locally by Perry Nicole, Harrington Brown, David Smith Gallery, and has several pieces in the LeBonheur collection.
“Christopher Nadaskay is the University Professor of Art at Union University and an artist focusing primarily on mixed-media, using a variety of materials and textures in his exploration of cultural critiques and societal legacies. As a self-proclaimed science-fiction fan, Nadaskay often incorporates aspects of the genre’s futuristic musings into his conviction-fueled paintings and sculptures.” Read the rest of the article by Joseph Smith in the Jackson Sun.
Chris is contributing for the second time to Art for Jobs and is preparing an early spring show of his work that will benefit Advance. The crosses seen at left are representative of a series of 1000 that he is creating, to be shown and sold at Crosstown.
A born and raised Memphian, Adam found his love of painting after attending a local paint your own canvas art event. Over the last five years, he has painted many pieces of art for friends, customers, and Memphis charities while creating his own unique and fun style. When not painting, Adam is an entertainer for the local NBA team, and his energy carries over from the arena to his art!
We are thrilled to have Adam Exelbierd contributing again this year and you won’t want to miss the series he’s contributed this year: the CORE 4! See more of Adam’s work on his website and learn more about Art for Jobs here or on our Facebook event page.
Jess Ada is a painter/maker/reclaimed architectural upcycler/ antiques restorationist who has been working and making in Memphis for a long time. Jess has her BFA from U of M and her MFA from Memphis College of Art. She lives in the heart of the city with her kids.
Jess has contributed to Art for Jobs for 3 years and we’re grateful for her continued support of Advance Memphis. You can see more of her work here. Learn more about Art for Jobs here and see the Facebook event page here.
Sara is a thirteen year old artist born and raised right here in Memphis. She lives with her mom and dad and four sisters. She is a student of Gene Goodwin. She loves art and hopes to make her living at it one day.
To learn more about Art for Jobs, go to www.advancememphis.org/afj2016.
Lucy Wepfer, a lifelong Memphian, graduated from Vanderbilt University. She is active in the community, loves her family, and enjoys painting as a hobby. She is a long-time volunteer and supporter of Advance Memphis and looks forward to participating in Art for Jobs each year.
ALL OF HILL’S WORK FOR ART FOR JOBS 2016 CAN BE SEEN IN THE ONLINE CATALOG.
Katie has an MA (Hons) degree in German and History of Art from the University of Edinburgh in Scotland. She grew up in Munich, Germany and Moscow, Russia. She has worked in art galleries in Edinburgh, Scotland and Nashville, TN. She has taught art outreach at the Frist Center for Visual Arts (Nashville, TN) and the Dixon Gallery and Gardens (Memphis, TN) as well as elementary school art in Memphis. Her focus is on portraits, religious and abstract work. She resides in Memphis with her husband and four sons.
Learn more about Katie’s work at katiehillart.com.
Local artist and teacher Jack Chambers will be participating in Art for Jobs for his second year and will be creating an Artist’s Wall as part of this year’s event. Learn more about Artist’s Walls here and see all the Art for Jobs information here. See more of Jack’s work on his site.
Artist’s Statement: Growing up in Memphis, TN, living in Chattanooga, and then returning to teach in Memphis, I am proud to be a Tennessee based artist. Both cities have an abundance of street art ranging from murals and sculptures to graffiti. Being surrounded by this culture of public art has had an impact on how I see the world. I began to find beauty in the layers formed by multiple artists painting, posting stickers, and applying wheat pastes in alleyways, on doors, on electric boxes, ect. Over time these areas begin to reveal a collaborative visual story of the city. These unique collaborative moments of art spread across the urban landscape to transform the city into one large art gallery to which we all have lifetime memberships. My art attempts to highlight and emulate these beautiful moments of layering and collaboration found within the urban environment, find balance between chaos and structure, and express visually the world which I perceive.