Torch & Brush
Original Metalworks by Megan Shane and Paintings by Jessica Lofthus
Exhibition ran from March 28, 2018 through June 5, 2018
I’m the child of a seamstress and a carpenter, raised immersed in artisan culture. I spent my childhood sewing and draping rooms in my mother’s fabrics, painting my bedroom walls, and in family projects of painting, interior and furniture design, and construction. My teen years were spent studying Southwestern indigenous art and watching graffiti artists create enormous, vibrant compositions in the desert sun. The uniqueness of the environment, and the power indigenous and graffiti painting held to transform otherwise static surroundings fascinated me. My painting and design began to reflect these two different but complimentary styles. Through getting my BFA from The University of Texas, my companion studies of ancient culture and spirituality became the visual framework for the dialogue of my art. Through my work I examine cultural and soulful paths, through depicting hidden intersections and portals in the universe where different worlds collide. In my mural work, I enjoy transforming environments for cultural and soulful evolution. My largest mural works can be seen in Cafe O’Play in Stow and the block long wall along the Cascade Plaza Parking Deck, on Quaker Street in downtown Akron. More of my work can be seen at www.jessicalofthus.com
I am a maker of things, a reveler in the arts and a lover of nature. It’s always been so. As a metal sculptor, and jeweler, I find great joy in creating artwork capable of outliving me. Born and raised in Akron Ohio, I draw my inspiration from the strength and beauty found in nature and the rust belt city I’m from. At a young age I was immersed in an enthusiastic education of the arts and all things creative. I discovered the same zeal when entering my father’s steel fabrication shop before the age of ten. Early on, I learned the joys of experimenting with the “tools of the trade”, playing with bits of steel and archaic machines, then graduating to the high-powered instruments of today. Though I’ve studied various art-forms and disciplines, much of my continued education has been self taught, punctuated with stints of apprenticeships and studio artist roles under local artisans.
Utilizing the resources around me, I love finding unique ways to unlock their hidden potential and transform the dull and discarded. Recycling scraps of metal into something useful and beautiful, for me, is joyful. I find it to be meaningful work, and at the right angle, maybe even a bit of a noble stance in today’s throw-away culture. I’m drawn to artistic achievements that meld form with function. Artwork that does something, or encourages a connection or interaction is powerful. Some symbols and imagery carry an immense weight, and a strength that’s capable of striking a cord deep within us. I find my favorite works have the ability to gather community around them to create a shared experience. I create from the heart, and hope that weather my materials are untouched or salvaged, the art I bring to life might aid in the appreciation and preservation of the natural world. You can find more of my work in a rooftop installation at Gallery 15 in East Akron, at the Trailhead Event Space just North of Downtown Akron. Retail venues and galleries carrying my work for sale include The Wolf Creek Trading Co. in Norton, Silver and Scents in Kent, Condor Welding in Norton, and at Hazel Tree just west of Downtown Akron. Connect with me at www.facebook.com/MeganShaneArt.