VisArts is pleased to present VisArts’ 2023 Bresler Resident Megan Koeppel’s Collective Celebrations of the Body, which opens February 9 and will be in the Kaplan Gallery through March 17.
VisArts’ four-month Bresler Residency provides a unique opportunity for three artists or artist teams to create a new body of work, evolve an existing body of work, or develop a project in a supportive environment. VisArts provides a $2,000 stipend and free studio space to the residents, who participate in a culminating exhibition.
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.
VisArts, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, is a hub for the visual arts that engages nearly 30,000 visitors annually through contemporary art exhibitions, a studio artist program, art classes and camps, VisAbility Art Lab (a supported studio for artists with disabilities), community art programs, the annual Rockville Arts Festival, and event space. Founded in 1987, VisArts is committed to our mission of transforming individuals and communities through the visual arts.
VisArts is in Rockville Town Square, three blocks from the Rockville Metro station, at 155 Gibbs Street, Rockville, Md.