by Andy Lyons, Editor-in-Chief
The Gann Gallery is getting a facelift for the month of April as mixed media artist Maggie Schmiegelow displays her first solo art exhibition, “Remembering Things Differently.” She is a student at the University of Central Missouri and her work has been featured across the region, most recently at the Lalaland Gallery in Fayetteville, Ark.
Schmiegelow offers quite the change from previous artists who have displayed their art at the Gann Gallery in Warrensburg, Mo. Her exhibition includes two quilts, one acrylic painting, a video installation, two sculptural pieces and a performance piece while previous artists, including gallery owner Nina Gann, have primarily displayed oil and acrylic paintings.
Schmiegelow said each of her pieces is unique in that the media they are displayed on is specific to each idea, and she enjoys creating artworks that are large scale and more sculpturally-based.
“Recently I have taken an interest in performance artwork, and it is something that I would like to continue exploring,” she told CMN via email. “I would describe mixed media artwork as artworks that cross over or push what a given media can do. I most often do this in a sculptural way and it is frequently to push the boundaries of traditional printmaking. I enjoy taking less conventional materials and finding ways for them to operate as something separate from their original intent.”
While many artists find a love for their craft early in life, Schmiegelow said she has only been making art for about two years after a professor pushed her to pursue it further. She said the artwork she is most excited about viewing as well as creating is most often conceptually-based.
“Experimentation is important to me as an artist, and I find that working in the media I do leaves room for more of this,” she said.
During her two years of creating, she’s focused on being a conceptual artist. She said she is most often drawn to sculpture, installation and performance-based artwork but also enjoys working as a printmaker and painter.
“It is important to me that I allow the idea to dictate what media best fulfills the concept behind the piece,” she said. “That being said, even though most of my work might not be considered a traditional form of printmaking, in many ways I strongly identify as a printmaker. Many of the artworks I make are heavily influenced by my experiences in printmaking and the way it is such a process-intensive media.”
Schmiegelow said her artwork is created as a means of self-fulfillment. She views “Remembering Things Differently” as a method to uncover complications in her life experiences. She said she uses her artwork to understand herself and the world around her on a deeper level.
“The exhibition ‘Remembering Things Differently,’ is in many ways a documentation of moments I have lived and the ways that I see them now in comparison to the way I viewed them when I was directly immersed in them,” she explained. “It has allowed me to gather information about who I am at this stage in my life and where I want to go moving forward. While the pieces are motivated by reflection on narratives that are personal and specific to me, they deal with overarching themes and emotions that are in many ways universal.”
Each of the eight pieces tells its own story, yet each relates to experiences Schmiegelow has on a seemingly every day, nonchalant manner. Ranging from what should be private being made public, to hidden moments that leave a visible impact, to highlighting the inadequacies within personal expectations, each piece tells of a very personal, linear story that is Schmiegelow’s life.
“It is not important that the viewer understand the entirety of the narrative behind each piece as often I create my work for self-fulfillment,” she said. “The sense of mystery that is often present in my artwork is important to me and if I give away all of the answers to the viewer you begin to lose some of that.”
Out of the eight pieces, she said her favorite piece is titled “A Culmination of Second Attempts,” which features a video of Schmiegelow tearing up a used mattress and box spring which is displayed on a screen that is part of an installation made up of the remnants of the used mattress.
“This piece is my first experience working with video media and installation and I enjoyed how it pushed me to problem solve in ways I haven’t dealt with before,” she said. “I also consider this piece to have performative elements, which is something I have been more and more interested in pursuing lately, and I enjoy that it is pushing me out of my comfort zone as an artist. Creating this piece was an eye-opening experience and it gave me a sense of closure in respect to the narratives this exhibition is based around and now I feel I am ready to move on to my next body of work.”
“Remembering Things Differently” runs from March 31 to April 28 at the Gann Gallery, 111 North Holden St., Warrensburg, Mo. There will be an opening reception from 7 to 9 p.m. Friday, March 31. Refreshments will be served. Regular gallery hours are from 2 to 6 p.m. Monday and Friday or by appointment.