Artist: Megan Macuen
Media: Fiber, Mixed-Media, Installation
Gallery: CSULB School of Art, MFA Fiber, Max L. Gatov Gallery East
About the Artist
Megan Macuen comes from a varied a background, one that is not specifically geared towards the art that she is currently creating. Hailing from Colorado, a state that I instantly link to the songs of folk singer Townes Van Zandt, Megan was originally an undergraduate in Wilderness Therapy, a career so fitting of the mountains that Van Zandt so fondly croons. She enjoyed the nature of Colorado and its healing properties, and also enjoyed working with the disabled and the not so fortunate. This is what brought her to study such a specific major. She still loves nature but now looks at it in a more passive way. She did not start weaving until after her move to California. She lived in San Francisco where she bought her first loom and has been a weaver ever since. Before her career at CSULB she studied fashion. She is currently in her second semester of a three year program for a MFA in Fiber.
In creating her art Megan Macuen used a laundry list of materials to erect large structures that show off her abilities as a master of all things fiber. When talking to her, she stated that she likes working on thread thinking of it more like a structure than anything else. This is clearly reflected in what she has created. She has created structures out of what she knows best: fiber. The colors are predominantly pale whites and wood tones. The size is rather large. Everything seems rathe symmetrical and of a geometric nature. They are simple yet elegant.
What struck me about my talk with Megan and also her work was the lack of definitive interpretation. Both the works themselves and the exhibit are nameless. She merely gave her pieces nicknames to make it easier to refer to them. When asked about what inspires her she gives no absolute answer. She is unsure of what inspires her but rather goes with the flow and creates whatever comes to mind. We can look at her work as an amalgam of her thought process more so than something representing a central theme. So no piece is specifically about anything. We can place our own meaning behind it, but in regards to Megan, she had nothing too specific in mind when creating her art. She stated that she is “still overcoming a fear of words”. She does not want to label her pieces, because that is not what they are about.
Synthesis / My Experience
I enjoyed the sheer scale of the works. I was in awe of these large structures that took up whole rooms to display. I did not go into much thought trying to analyze what was meant by creating such structures, but rather enjoyed them as is. I asked Megan how she made one tower of the piece she calls “tetherball mop” slant more so forward than the others. She asked me if I had inspected it thoroughly (which I had not). I went back inside to find that it was being supported by a singular softball shoved under its base. I was surprised that it was that simple. But with this distinction she separated the group of three into a grouping of two and a group of one. She always felt this distinction between these pillars. To her it was always two and one.