Out of each 5790projects show, a selection committee nominates one featured artist to be considered for the annually-awarded Moore Family Trust Grant. This prize consists of a $1,000 cash prize and a Project Room show at Mark Moore Gallery in January of the following year. After much deliberation, the committee has elected to award the 2014 prize to sculpture artist, Meghan Smythe.
Featured in May’s group exhibition at Eagle Rock Center for the Arts, “Terra Firma,” Meghan’s tantalizing array of glass, ceramics, and cement earned her the Visiting Artist Residency at California State University, Long Beach (CA) from 2012-2014. Using a traditional sculptural format (the monument), Meghan Smythe captures contradicting extremes within human gesture: intimacy and brutality, beauty and ugliness, or the lewd and tender. In her attempt to achieve an “elegant vulgarity,” she encapsulates moments that define our mortality in unanticipated ways; oftentimes toeing the delicate line between erotic and macabre tendencies that give way to life, and ultimately death. Glass, ceramic, and concrete are woven together in an elaborate, orgy-like web of body parts and organic artifacts, as if suddenly cast with Pompeii-like circumstances. Like excavated antiquities or fossils, Smythe’s ceramic compositions allude to the cyclical nature of civilization – a dramedy in which all of the players are subject to conquest and demise.
Smythe (b. 1984, Kingston, ON) received her MFA from the Alfred University School of Art and Design (NY). Her work has been shown at the Arizona State University Art Museum (AZ) and the Gardiner Museum, Toronto (ON). She was the Visiting Artist in Residence at California State University, Long Beach (CA) from 2012-2014, where she continues to teach Ceramic Arts. The artist lives and works in Long Beach, CA.
Meghan’s Project Room show (yet to be titled) will open on January 10, 2015, from 6-8pm, alongside Ryan Wallace. Both exhibitions will remain on view through February 14, 2015. We congratulate Meghan on this achievement, as well as all of our other nominees!