Meg Banfield is a collage artist based in Franklin, TN. Here she discusses how her background in art history has shaped her understanding of the world and how she approaches creating new works of art.
Q: Tell us a little bit about your experience with art and art history.
Meg: I come from a family who have always been interested in the arts, and ever since I was a child, I have always been inspired by the historic and artistic side of life. I spent most of my days reading world mythology and about the history of the world. With each culture that I encountered, I was able to interpret its surroundings through different artistic techniques. Going to museums played a huge role for me as a kid; I always find these venerable institutions to be both exhilarating and also helpful in expanding my artistic knowledge. I didn’t really think much abut having a career in art until I started college, where, by happy chance, I took an "Intro to Western Art" class for my first fall semester. From the moment the lecture began, I immediately knew what I wanted to do with my future. Before I knew it, I graduated college with a bachelor's degree in art history. Having my major in art history has definitely been a blessing when it comes to creating my artwork. Being able to study the various artistic movements and to fully understand the historic events occurring alongside them have allowed me to gain a richer appreciation for art in general.
How would you describe your creative work?
I would describe my art as one part surrealist, one part fantastic, and one part mythical. What I try to do is to both create new meanings for different pieces, while breathing new life into age-old artistic tropes, making them appear to be more whimsical than they appear to be.
Who or what inspires you?
Various art movements have inspired my work. I find inspiration in the surrealist, symbolist, decadent, and mannerist movements. I’ve also been intrigued with the mystical and spooky side of life, and I don’t mind showing that part of myself within my work.
What other things do you like to do when you're feeling creative?
Another activity that I dabbled with as a child (and that I still keep up with) is creative writing. I find it to be another outlet for releasing my creative juices. I’ve also gotten into the adult coloring niche. I find that picking out the colors to use for each individual item to be quite soothing.
What's next for you, and what do you hope to do in the foreseeable future?
I have hopes for applying to graduate school to get my master's in art history with an emphasis on curatorial studies. My wish is to either one day be a professor of art history or to become a curator at a prestigious museum. I also have goals in selling more of my artwork, as well as submitting my writings to different literary magazines.
Thanks for chatting with us, Meg! This insight brings new and exciting meaning to your work! ◆