Hey there, I’m Kelly Meyer. I graduated from St Cloud State University in 2004 with a BFA and emphasis in painting. Of course, that’s just a small piece of me and my work as an artist.
If I was forced to choose between the immediacy of painting and the slow, methodical approach of embroidery, I don’t think I could. Much like my inner self, my artwork swings between extremes; from the pleasure of a brush gliding across paper laying down large blocks of color to the slow, carefully placed needle piercing, then pulling through fabric. Some pieces require the exorcising of ideas with immediacy, yet other times the best way to express the importance of the piece is by laying down a thousand stitches.
Embroidery has been seen through the ages as a substitute for the education of a women, a badge of well-to-do high class aristocratic young women, and a necessity for a good wife and homemaker. Given its baggage, embroidery lends itself well to upheaval allowing me to use those stereotypes to challenge viewers, and predominately myself, in the question of “What is art and what is craft?”. I have often found myself fighting against the idea of “women’s work” and have chosen to take back embroidery and use it to tell a different story. Sometimes it is a subtle bedtime story and other times it is a shout with every stitch.
I have never been able to walk away from creating despite times where it seems it would be best to throw in the towel. Art is what helps me work through that which I don’t understand, the questions that plague me, feelings I don’t comprehend, and to share the truths that I have learned. I set down painting time and again telling myself that I’m too busy, it isn’t any good, it takes up to much space, and whatever other excuse I could come up with. Time and again, painting has pulled me back; it keeps me afloat, pulls me from darkness, reminds me of the truth of who I am. It’s perhaps a cliche thing to say, but it is something so many before me have discovered: I make art because my art saves me.
The subject of my work varies, but is based deeply in my faith. As a Christian I cannot help but share the truths that give me hope and the stories that fascinate and strengthen me. Over the last few years I have been working directly with deafblind individuals and the idea of conversation, touch, and connection fascinate me. I am currently in the beginning stages of creating a new body of work that is tactile and is intended to draw the viewer in through touch, smell, and other sense. I believe that art is integral to life and should be available to everyone regardless of their abilities.