Beth Meadows

recycle

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.

BethFront.jpg

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" 

Now Showing at Coffee & Chocolate

Beth MeadowsComment

I currently have artwork on display at Coffee & Chocolate. Below are details and photos of the work. I hope you can find the time to see it this month!

Photo by Matthew Higginbotham

Photo by Matthew Higginbotham

Models and Buildings

Drawings by Beth Meadows

at Coffee & Chocolate, December 2013

327 Union Ave SW, Knoxville, TN 37902

All work is priced upon request. Please contact beth@bethmeadows.com

Patrick Sullivan's (on black)  paint pen and acrylic on acetate, lace and fabric, recycled frame

Patrick Sullivan's (on black) paint pen and acrylic on acetate, lace and fabric, recycled frame

Artist Statement:

I have a strong interest in things that are beautifully crafted and designed to stand the test of time. I also listen to pop music and buy things that are made to be thrown away year to year.

 

My subject matter is historic Knoxville buildings and models from fashion magazines. The frames used for the models are recycled and the windows have been salvaged from historic buildings in Knoxville. 

 

As I make these drawings with previously discarded materials, I think about their original creator, the time and thought they put into what they made.  

Historic Knoxville Buildings  paint pen and acrylic on acetate, lace and fabric, framed in salvaged windows and recycled frames. Photo by Matthew Higginbotham.

Historic Knoxville Buildings paint pen and acrylic on acetate, lace and fabric, framed in salvaged windows and recycled frames. Photo by Matthew Higginbotham.

I wonder: If the flippant consumer determines the value of things, won't even the most well-designed objects be subject to the landfill?

 

I like to imagine that one day I might walk into a thrift store and see one of my paintings hanging on a wall. What one might regard as a debilitating thought has pushed me to make better work. Better work that does not become too precious to me as the maker. 


Two Models  ink, marker, and colored pencil on paper, recycled frames

Two Models ink, marker, and colored pencil on paper, recycled frames

Bio:

Beth moved from her hometown of Memphis, Tennessee to Knoxville where she graduated from the UT with a BFA in Studio Art in 2007. She currently manages The Salvage Room for the non-profit Knox Heritage, receiving and selling historic building materials. She is also the Director and an artist of 17th Street Studios, a work space for artists near downtown Knoxville.

Models in recycled frames. Photo by Matthew Higginbotham.

Models in recycled frames. Photo by Matthew Higginbotham.

Tiny Historic Buildings

Beth Meadows3 Comments

Last week I was busy making drawings for a Knox Heritage fundraiser called the Scruffy City Soiree. Last year, I painted mason jars on slate tiles for their table's centerpieces. This year, I drew historic Knoxville buildings, and they were really fun to make.

Most are about 4 x 6", drawn on two sides of a piece of acetate and layered on top of fabric. Then they are placed in vintage frames.

There is a bumper sticker I've seen that reads "Historic Preservation is the Ultimate Recycling." These drawings of historic homes and buildings are made using mostly recycled materials- the frames, acetate, and fabric are from thrift stores or have been given to me. It's one of my favorite things to do with art- take discarded items and make them something precious again. 

I hope one day I'll be able to do the same with a beautiful old building. That could be the ultimate work of art.  

At this moment, I haven't listed any of the remaining drawings from the event online to sell, but if you are interested in purchasing one, please contact me. Through the end of October, partial proceeds will benefit Knox Heritage. They will be hanging at Old City Java beginning Wednesday, October 2, but please contact me if you'd like to see them before then.

I'd also be very interested to make new ones with the building, house, and fabric of your choice, just let me know!