Diane Crocker
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Painting all about making decisions and reacting to them for young city artist

Meagan Musseau’s exhibit, “Vacancy,” opens Friday, March 7, 2014 at JL Gallery.

Painting for Meagan Musseau is all about a reactionary type process.

“I’ve always been drawn to painting because of its immediacy,” she said while unwrapping the paintings she’ll be displaying at JL Gallery on Broadway over the next two weeks on Thursday.

Musseau said as you work you need to make decisions and then the next steps tend to be reactions to that.

She said it is so much linked to life.

“That’s what you do when you process something, you go to that and you think through it and then you make a decision  and you respond,” she said.

In some cases, Musseau said, those decisions click right away, while in others it can take a lot of time.

Musseau graduated from the visual arts program at College of the North Atlantic in Stephenville in 2010 and went on to complete the bachelor of fine arts degree program at Grenfell Campus, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

During her first year at the university, she applied for and was accepted to the National Artist Program through the Canada Games, and last year participated in an exchange program at Brighton University in England.

Musseau’s exhibit is titled “Vacancy.” It’s the first solo show for the 24-year-old artist and she said it comes at a good time for her.

“Just having confidence in what I was doing,” she said. “I had explored a lot, but I wanted to kind of put my mind and my energy into my own body of work.”

In her artist’s statement she said: “Vacancy is a paradox; even though a space may be empty of activity the structure still remains, thus, is anything truly vacant? Even in emptiness, there is potential.”

As she goes about setting up for the exhibit she said for her vacancy has to do with a philosophical idea that she’s working through.

“And that has to do with observations and responses to my environment,” she said.

“Like anything you always try to put meaning into something, but really it’s so much about the process for me and the figuring out and the decision making.”

She said her work would traditionally be described as abstract, but to her it’s about so much more.

“It’s still representation, it’s just in a non-presentational language,” Musseau said.

There are 13 pieces in her exhibit, three large ones, two medium, seven small and a lightbox which will contain text to accompany the paintings. Her paintings are all created on raw canvas using ink, acrylic paint and spray paint.

Musseau said the large pieces also serve as journals.

“So I record the date and the time when I start working and then when I stop. So they’re a record of activity, but it’s a record of process and of thought, of experience,” she said.

“I think of them as archives. When I record the time and the date that automatically puts in the season, so the time of year, and when I’m saying I’m responding to my environment, I’m not representing it. I’m kind of filtering it through, like I’m the camera.”

“Vacancy” opens tonight at the 7 p.m. at the gallery. The exhibit will be on display until March 22.



Organizations: College of the North Atlantic, Memorial University of Newfoundland.During, Canada Games Brighton University

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