Arts & Culture
11:32 am
Fri June 20, 2014

Spring Artpace Residents Take Up Women In War Theme

Three times a year Artpace invites an artist from Texas, another from the rest of the United States, and another from somewhere in the world to live at Artpace for two months and create.

With the spring residency program nearly through, I caught up with one of their artists, Margaret Meehan, to see what she’s creating. First I asked her what the residency program is like, from an artist's standpoint.

“It’s like a really lovely boot camp!” she laughed.

What Meehan is creating has a theme: Women in War.

“I started with these women who were fighting in the Civil War, disguised as men," she said. "Some of them were following their husbands into war. Some of them were living as men before they joined to fight for their country. And I’m tying that to contemporary female soldiers that are fighting for their country.”

That project is a multi-faceted one. Here she describes one of its aspects:

“I’m sewing 143 sand bags with the initials of all the women who have died in service since 2001,” Meehan said.

However, she soon realized she wouldn’t be able to complete them without help.

“So I did an embroidery circle and 30 people -- men and women from the community -- came and were sewing," said Meehan. "And that was the moment I realized how great San Antonio was as a community and how Artpace is really tied into that community.”

Another aspect to her project will be accomplished by doing tintypes — old photography from the 19th century.

“Kind of playing with the past, doing some images of a model in Civil War attire, and then contemporary fatigues,” Meehan said.

Her works, including a one-of-a-kind ornate dress, and the works of the other artists will be revealed at an Artpace party on Thursday, July 10.

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