Beth Meadows

The Art of Style

"art", "collage", "exhibit", "fashion", "inspiration", "women"BComment

Elle/ Marc Jacobs

If you weren't able to make it to my opening at Bliss Home in Market Square last Friday, I hope you'll stop in this month to see it. And when you do, remember that everything's for sale.

I wrote an artist statement for this work, but I've been thinking about it lately and want to share more about the background, things from my life that have led to making these pieces.

I'm a very thrifty person, a scavenger of the unwanted. Most things in my home were free or bought at thrift stores. It's amazing what I've acquired for little to no money. Sometimes I wish I kept a running log, putting a monetary value on these things to see how much I've saved. I'll probably never do this, but it's interesting to think about.

Carolina Herrera

While I (absolutely) love walking the aisles of thrift stores, scouring the shelves of unwanted items, I've started to run into several dilemmas.

My instinct is to think to myself, "I must buy this ceramic cat. If I don't, who will? And all this potential will be lost!"

Possibly 50% of the time, I give into buying this object that's main purpose becomes to collect dust somewhere in my all ready cluttered apartment.

Sidenote One: I buy the ceramic cat because it speaks to me. I think, "This object is special; it draws me in and I should make it mine." I didn't realize until recently that you can be thrifty and materialistic simultaneously.

Sidenote Two: I promise I'm not like those people in hoarding reality TV shows. I have a lot of stuff, but it's not a medical condition. At least not yet. 

But an internal conflict for me has arisen recently, a tension I feel about a) wanting to hunt and gather lots of "stuff" and b) a deep, untapped desire to lead a minimalistic, well-designed, and streamlined life.

Pink Feathers

I moved recently and have been confronted with that amount of things I own, items that I have carted around from one place to the next. I give things to Goodwill almost monthly, and still, it's incredible how much stuff I have.

I have this dream of being able to pack all of my belongings in one car, in case I wanted to up and move somewhere exotic. There is a subconscious weight to the things we surround ourselves with.

I have another internal conflict: c) fighting the urge to buy lot of cheap things that will last a short time in order to buy fewer high quality things that will last, possibly, a lifetime.

Arizona Muse

Growing up, I had everything I needed to survive and more. My dad worked hard and my family was never in want. Maybe you could say my sisters and I were spoiled, but it was mostly in the quality of what we had or the experiences my parents gave us, but not in the quantity. We never had a room full of cheap plastic toys, but we had a wonderful two story playhouse that my grandfather and dad built us. And one Christmas we all got neon Nike jogging suits and a trampoline. We went on some great family vacations, too.

In regard to the things I surrounded myself with as a child supported financially by my parents, I can't say the style I had growing up was my own. I wore and placed around me things my parents gave me. It wasn't until I started driving that I began choosing my own clothes, but it really took years to develop and accept my innate sense of style. While my parents' and my tastes differ greatly, we do have at least one thing in common: an appreciation for good quality, a common ground that is very enjoyable as I grow older.

But now that I'm an adult and finally know that I have exquisite taste (read: expensive), the universe has played a cruel joke on my by giving me a very tight budget.


While I covet items in magazines, it can be tempting to think if I had more money, I could buy great style, but I know this isn't true. It just takes a little more effort when money is tight.

Being the artistic person I am (this is the reason I give for all my shortcomings), I tend to leave spaces disorderly and am not great at, that funny term, nesting.

It's something I think a lot about as a creative person. Knowing in your head what you want, how you want it to look, but missing the mark because of laziness or a lack of focus or discipline. I know I can make something look how it is in my head with the proper amount of time and effort. More often than I'd like to admit, I've slapped a lot of things together at the last minute, which makes no one happy. With a little time and patience, things will come out the way you imagined them to.


So this work that I've made for this show is inspired by the most cutting edge trends in fashion and design. I looked through the pages of magazines, found particular images for inspiration, and made these pieces using things around me, from thrift stores, mostly, or things that were free.

I used product packaging- mesh produce bags and plastic newspaper bags-, fabric that was given to me from retired seamstresses, and frames and transparency paper I found at thrift stores.

South by Southwest

In a comical way, I like to think of myself as that kid from American Beauty, having a fit over the  beauty of a plastic grocery bag floating in the air.

I'm not lying. I think there is a vast amount of beauty in an orange plastic newspaper bag.

I'm working more and more to make my surroundings (my home and my studio, even the inside of my car) beautiful in the way I believe they should be. I want to do this without overspending or accumulating too much. Really, having less might do the trick.

With my artwork, I'm taking the things that are accessible to me and giving a nod to the most current ideas in the fashion world today, something I admire greatly from my modest life afar.