Beth Meadows

good packaging

Good Packaging Artist Statement 2018

Beth MeadowsComment

Right now, I have work on display through the end of July at Lowe Mill Arts & Entertainment in Huntsville, AL. This marks my first solo show outside of Knoxville, so if you're in the area, I hope you'll take some time to go see it.

You can find my Artist Statement below if you'd like to learn more about my thoughts behind this series. Please let me know if you have any questions or comments. I'd love to hear your thoughts.


The Good Packaging Series first began in 2015, inspired by two unrelated things: a growing fascination with the fashion industry and my dislike for grocery shopping. To shift my perspective, I turned the grocery into an art store, buying alluring food package designs to use as materials, allowing colors and fonts to entice me for the first time, something I was taught at a young age not to do. It wasn’t quite like buying Gucci, but it sure felt indulgent, and I liked it.

This series of supermodels adorned in collaged packaging has evolved into works made using recycled textiles and materials with bold colors and patterns.

Pashmina 3x2' mixed media

Pashmina 3x2' mixed media

I have always been inclined to recycle materials. As an artist, I’m overwhelmed by the message to mass produce work, as I see many artists and creatives doing on social media. I’ve also learned, through a podcast I listen to called Pop Fashion, how much of the world’s clothing ends up in landfills and how much of it doesn't break down easily due to synthetic fibers. I'm motivated to recycle what I can, finding beauty in discarded things. I acquire materials from unconventional places: parties, restaurants, thrift stores, trash cans, office supply stores, and more.

This series has several themes:

  • Mixing accessible, inexpensive or free materials to reference high design, inaccessible fashion and unattainable goals
  • Supermodels/ fashion design as symbols for unattainable, idealistic or unrealistic goals
  • The layering of materials as a symbol for how people package themselves, physically and emotionally, making themselves more acceptable or pleasing to others, yet hiding aspects of themselves
  • The delicate nature of materials. While a person may be able to create an acceptable external persona, the internal still exists and will surface. The exterior is a delicate and unreliable facade.
  • My personal struggle with "packaging" myself physically- how it feels like clothing was not designed with my body shape in mind, how it can actually be really painful. As an act of rebellion, I buy beautiful clothing from thrift stores that I can’t wear and create something beautiful with it anyway.
  • My personal struggle with "packaging" myself emotionally
  • How internal beauty shows itself externally, in surprising and unconventional ways 
Reclined mixed media 11x14" 

Reclined mixed media 11x14" 

Wooden Ladies

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I watched Sofia Coppola's Marie Antoinette again last week, and it got me thinking about a piece of artwork I made in 2015:

Wooden Lady, reclaimed wood in salvaged window, 2015

Wooden Lady, reclaimed wood in salvaged window, 2015

Inspired by this:

I was working at The Salvage Shop then, and as usual, coming up with ways to re-use all the wood we had on hand, a mission that inspired the hundreds of mason jars I printed and painted on salvaged wood during my years there. 

Her face is tongue and groove flooring, her headdress is wood that was all ready painted white and I added gold accents, her blouse painted and carved wood. The frame is an old window from some house in East Tennessee that probably has vinyl windows now.

The carved blouse was inspired by a box I bought in Haiti that summer. Something about the painted wood, then carved, gets to me deeply, so much so I daydream about living in a different country, making colorful jewelry and carved and painted wooden boxes by the ocean...


The same year I made the wooden lady, I also made this:

Dolce & Gabbana, food packaging on paper, 11 x 14"

Dolce & Gabbana, food packaging on paper, 11 x 14"

Inspired by this:

Karlie Kloss in Dolce & Gabbana

Karlie Kloss in Dolce & Gabbana

And it seemed to be a favorite of the Good Packaging series, I think because of the floral headdress and striking stare. Also probably the lace dress. It's a solid image all around. 

I always wanted to make more wooden women. "Wooden Ladies" has been on my To Do list for two years, and I'm excited because I'm ready to make more. 

So I've been searching the internet and saving images on Instagram. My goal is to make three by the end of the month. My inclination is to make them wildly intricate, but they will be a little different than the first one I made.

While we wait for them, here are some of the images I found for inspiration, the last one an added bonus because it's ridiculous. 




About "Good Packaging"

Beth MeadowsComment

Good Packaging is the second iteration of the food packaging series, the first influenced by a desire to improve one of my least favorite tasks: grocery shopping. 

When it comes to going to the grocery store, I lack the knack for doing it efficiently. All of the brands and differing price points overwhelm me, so I spend far more time wandering the aisles than I'd like to. 

I also learned at a young age not to be swayed by fancy packaging, which for a visual person, really takes the joy out of looking at all those labels. 

To improve this task that I will spend the rest of my life doing, I decided to turn the grocery store into an art store, allowing myself to buy alluring items that I could use to make art. This shift has made a world of difference, and in my hunting, I do that thing I aspire to do as often as possible in my life: Lose track of time.

I'm also deeply fascinated by the fashion industry and like mixing images I find in magazines and on social media with my life in East Tennessee. 

In Good Packaging I explore:

  • themes of craftsmanship in the greater design world and also in folk art found in the mountainous region where I live. 
  • the inaccessibility of high fashion and the accessible materials I've chosen to work with.
  • the fashion world, a field and craft I greatly admire.
  • the positive and negative effects of food and fashion