Friday, July 30, 2010

Ghosts in the Landscape #2

Oh the weeks are flying by...

Let's see. This week feels a little disjointed. I painted, photographed and wrote but I have nothing to show you (yet). My main focus this week was on a lot of underground studio related business and preparation for next week's First Thursday opening. As some of you know, I am curating another photography exhibition in the Hive gallery within the Fayetteville Underground. This time the work is by French photographer, Christian Demare. The exhibition is titled Ghosts in the Landscape #2 and contains 46 images all in the square format.

I have long be an admirer of Christian's dark and dreamy worlds and I am thrilled to be able to present his work to my local community. Again, I am thankful that the Internet makes this global arts community possible. I will let you know how the opening goes next week.

Christian Demare

Press Release:
Christian Demare
Ghosts in the Landscape #2
Hive Gallery

Christian Demare is a photographer living and working in Paris, France. His exhibition, Ghosts in the Landscape #2 will be featured in the Hive Gallery at the Fayetteville Underground during the month of August. After exploring drawing, painting and engraving, it is photography that Christian has turned to in recent years. Exhibitions and publications punctuate this prolific artist's life entirely devoted to his work, research and experimentation. Recently his work entered a period of greater visibility, with exhibitions at the French Institute in Thessaloniki, Greece as part of the 2010 Photo-Biennale, and at Les Insolites, in Tangiers, Morocco. Artist Megan Chapman, always inspired and impressed by Christian's dark, lush and mysterious photographic worlds asked the artist if he would consider having an exhibition at the Fayetteville Underground, she was thrilled when he agreed.

About his work, Christian Demare writes, "Stopping for a moment, seeing, trying to take the time to look at things humbly; between contemplation and meditation. Trying to offer a view of the immensity of things, approaching the others, touching the palpitations of life. Offering people a view, expanding their perspective, feeling and touching reality with the fingertips.This reality that contains all the tragic and the magic. All the light and the incredible hope.The torn hearts and the dazzling nature.The deadly boredom and the absolute love. My art is figurative even if sometimes the subject disappears; my art is narrative even if the stories are fragmentary.The images are nothing other than furtive traces and testimonies; a few clues left here and there…"

The exhibition will remain up through August 28th.
The Fayetteville Underground
Basement of One East Square Plaza
East side of the Historic Fayetteville Square.
Fayetteville, Arkansas
Gallery Hours W-F 12-7pm
Saturday 10-5pm
4 galleries: Open Studios

Friday, July 23, 2010

from waking to dreaming...

things fall away (as we go under)
30x40" © 2010 Megan Chapman

This week, I set an intention that I would have an inspired week and that I would protect it as needed to make sure that this happened. My studio was cleaned to perfection at the end of last week and everything was in it's right place. I walked to work with a purpose and started and completed this newest addition to the white series. This painting feels like it came together quickly, but many concentrated long hours were poured into it. Many layers used to build it, and many questions were asked while working.

I don't want to talk too much about what is happening in the studio or in my art brain, but to say I am grateful. I am in the right place and I am listening and I am doing what needs to be done.

Imagine hundreds more invisible words below...

Friday, July 16, 2010

A Reminder : A manual for living

The manual is not exactly new but certainly not old, and I need to remind myself of it often. I remember working on a manual for living: a ten page guide in the beginning of the year, in the coolness of January and February. I remember the thrill of it, going back in time and as well as into uncharted territory. I remember the pace and the excitement as I watched it lead to many more paintings, the new white series. I remember feeling satisfied.

This week in the studio, has been more administrative rather than creative. Getting ready for the next exhibition, working out the upcoming schedule for the underground studios for next year, cleaning my studio. Nuts and bolts operational things, but at the same time I have looked at art, read about art, talked to artists near and far, I have held and sorted through my materials. It has not been a complete loss. I can not paint every week the way I would like. When I run my hands over my paints, when I sort through my supplies, I do smile. These are my tools, these are the materials I know; my things. These things help me communicate. These things communicate with me.

Here again is a manual for living: a ten page guide, but here also are the words that go with it...

a manual for living: a ten page guide from Megan Chapman on Vimeo.

Friday, July 9, 2010

When it rains...

my hand in the studio ©2010 Megan Chapman

It pours.

The three paintings I have been working on since the beginning of June finally decided to come into being. I managed to have a productive week in the studio! First, I spent a lot of time just looking at the works that had been alluding me and thinking about them. I also discussed them in fits and starts with my peers. I then spent time in my studio with my doubts about my art, the art world, people in general, you know just working myself into a frenzy and then suddenly they all came together! I feel a great sense of relief and momentary hope. I think one work may have a little bit further to go, but for now I am holding back and calling it done.

Thanks for checking in here and being an encouraging voice when I was at the wall wondering what to do next. Thanks also for your support and lovely comments about the institute du loop exhibition.

Without further ado, here are the newest members of the white series. These are just studio snap shots, but they give you an idea...

when I close my eyes
© 2010 Megan Chapman

tie a stone to my heart and watch it sink
© 2010 Megan Chapman

you will find me here (at the end of the line)
©2010 Megan Chapman

And for those interested: this song was on repeat and loud on my headphones while it all came together in the studio.

And of course, I am still working on behalf of the institute du loop. I so enjoy being surrounded by the artist's words, sounds and photographs, they come together so well to engulf me and make for a lovely place to hide while I wait for paint to dry.

institute du loop: a place to drown
on display through July 31.
Hive gallery Fayetteville Underground
gallery hours W-F 12-7 and Saturday 10-5

Photographs are $30 per image (open edition) and they are also priced by the wall collection. There is a visual journal with images and words by the artist for $ 15.00, a limited edition exhibition poster for $25.00 and the soundtrack composed by the artist is available for $10.00. Near or far, please contact me if you would like more information about this exhibition at

Friday, July 2, 2010

why I like to drown...

wall 4 institute du loop (detail)

The institute du loop's premier international exhibition debuted last night in the hive gallery within the Fayetteville underground to a First Thursday packed house. It was a thrill for me to be able to talk about the institute's work with the crowds and to explain my involvement in the project. I was so pleased to witness the moment that some of the viewers connected with the work, taking the time to look and explore, to absorb the music that the artist had especially composed for the photographs, and to read the artist's words about why he had created these images. I felt pride in my ability to bring the project to fruition and to expose Fayetteville's residents to this talented artist that I admire.

There were many questions about the work, the artist, and my role in the project so I am going to try to answer some of those in today's post. The institute du loop is an individual who currently lives in Taipei Taiwan, he is an English born sound and visual artist. He has lived in Taiwan for 2 years and feels that he has truly found his home in the world and his artistic identity on the island.

I met the artist via myspace two and half years ago and was very taken with his work, and we became friends and have stayed in contact via email about art and life over the years. I have always encouraged him in his work and even before I was an artist in the underground, I was attempting to find him a space locally for an exhibition. I know how important it is to have someone in your corner supporting your work, and I also know how important it is to have deadlines and a focus for your work, so an exhibition is always a good thing. I wasn't even sure if he would be interested in showing his work in Fayetteville Arkansas but when I proposed it, he was excited about the opportunity. Over the years we have developed trust in each other and our artistic sensibilities and knew we could pull this off. I had never curated a show of this magnitude or involvement before, and this was my first experience curating an international exhibition. The artist and I have been working on this exhibition for months via hundreds of emails and msn chats. Talking about the content of the exhibition, logistics, expenses, gallery dimensions, design, display and pricing, we discussed and worked out every detail, compromises were made, and we both learned a lot because of the experience.

The exhibition arrived on the two flash drives, and the one hundred twenty-four photographs were printed here and each hand stamped with the loop stamp the artist had designed for the occasion. They were hand cut and meticulously mounted flush to the wall in a grid pattern.The institute picked the order of the photographs and which images would go on each wall. There were limited edition posters, postcards and booklets to design and print, and Cd's of the soundtrack to burn after the mounting of the exhibition. All of this to complete the artist's well thought out vision. There were many late, sleep deprived nights leading up to the show. I even moved my sleeping bag into the gallery and put a note on the gallery door asking not to be disturbed as the images were installed. It was such a thrill to remove the black paper from the glass walls of the gallery and see the exhibition as a whole. I contacted the artist after the installation was complete and told him I felt he needed a larger budget, a museum and a book deal as I was so impressed with what he had created.

People have asked me what I get out of this or if I get paid for doing this. The answer is, no I don't get paid for this work. I do this work because I believe in the power of art and I believe in this artist's vision. I do this work because I feel that I am part of a global arts community and I am to fortunate enough know some of the most amazing artists on the planet and if I have the ability to shine a little extra light on them, or encourage them by offering them an exhibition then I am going to do it. I also believe Fayetteville deserves high quality art from around the country and the world. I am very fortunate that I have the trust of the Fayetteville Underground and the artists I work with. I feel honored to be able to do this type of work, it expands my vision as an artist and it keeps me involved in the bigger picture. In August, Christian Demare from Paris France will also be featured in the Hive gallery, and in September Thomas Petillo from Nashville, Tennessee will be in the hive as well. These are photographers I love and I can't wait to share their work with folks who don't already know it.

institute du loop: a place to drown
on display through July 31.
Hive gallery Fayetteville Underground
gallery hours W-F 12-7 and Saturday 10-5

Photographs are $30 per image (open edition) and they are also priced by the wall collection. There is a booklet with a different set of images and words by the artist for $ 15.00 and the limited edition exhibition poster for $25.00. The soundtrack composed by the artist is also available for $10.00. Near or far, please contact me if you would like more information about this exhibition at

I will close with a few words from the institute:

"After all the longing and drowning, after all the decisions about the layers of images and sequences, the "image pools" are on the walls..." -institute du loop

institute du loop: a place to drown from Megan Chapman on Vimeo.