Collective Celebrations of the Body

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Kaplan Gallery North

Collective Celebrations of the Body

VisArts’ 2023 Bresler Resident Megan Koeppel

February 9–March 17, 2024

Kaplan Gallery

Collective Celebrations of the Body is an exhibition of works made by Megan Koeppel and local artists M Aragon, Sarah Bowman, Hannah Brancato, Eliza Clifford, Maggie Gourlay, and Camila Tapia.

The exhibition is rooted in a workshop led by Koeppel and Brancato in which artists were invited to explore natural dyes and the relationship of textile work to the artist’s body as a tool for making, symbol in art history, and role within the craft of textile. The workshop resulted in discussions, celebrations of the body, a community quilt, and individual quilt blocks created by each participant, which are dispersed throughout the show.

The majority of the pieces in this exhibition come from Koeppel’s studio. These works combine playful explorations of natural dye with a reclamation of the figure that is in direct response to the depiction of the nude muse in art history.

The works in Collective Celebrations of the Body reflect the way contemporary textile is used to shed light on a history of under-recognized labor. Quilts and other textile works have a direct relationship to the human body, but the creators of these objects are not typically seen. These works celebrate the time, skills, and labor that are part of crafting textiles, as well as the people who create them.

About the Artist

Megan Koeppel is a textile artist from Milwaukee, Wisconsin. She earned her B.F.A. from the Maryland Institute College of Art in 2018, where she studied fine art and curatorial practices. Her work was recently exhibited at The Museum of Quilts and Fiber Arts (Cedarburg Wis.), Material Gallery + Studio (Milwaukee Wis.), VisArts (Rockville, Md.), Monochrome Art Fair (Washington, D.C.), and Creative Alliance and the Walters Art Museum (Baltimore, Md.). She was a 2022 Janet and Walter Sondheim Artscape Prize Finalist and a 2022-2023 artist-in-residence at Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts.

Image: Megan Koeppel, Floating and Falling, 2023

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