Client: Mirbach Associates
Location: Westport, CT, United States
Completion date: 2019
Artwork budget: $19,250
Meg Black Studios
This project began when I was in 5th grade. I remember sitting at my very uncomfortable desk in a classroom with 25 other kids twisting the pages of my history book around my no. 2 pencil making various octopus shapes that became a story about another world of miniature people who were living amongst the waves of motion I was creating. The idea of twisting and turning shapes into hills and valleys of motion has followed me all through my art career. Adding colors and textures to these early attempts has allowed me to recreate the emotion of nature, in this case, the feel of the ocean waves as they crash to the shore in a historic New England town along the Long Island Sound.
The building, which was built in 1986 and used for commercial purposes, underwent a remarkable renovation in 2019. What had been brown walls and dark corridors was turned into gleaning aqua glass-covered panels and fixtures with chrome accents. My work was chosen for this location because as the client stated having viewed my proposal “we very much like her work. It’s colorful and textural, which is what these all-white-and-shiny lobbies need. The art will deliver strong counterpoint.” This husband/wife team directed me to “focus on magnetically attractive textures, colors, and shapes that trigger a feeling of gladness that you’re in the same space with this art.” Additionally, while they wanted me to incorporate the feel of the shoreline into the composition, the focus on texture and color was deemed more significant, with just a hint of the seashore given this is a New England coastal town. Additional directives included making the work “fun” and “textural.”
The architectural firm of Monroe Partnership designed the complete renovation. I worked closely with this team as well as the building’s owners. I sent a series of maquettes, sketches, and photographs to them for approval. Once the final composition was determined, I worked on the commission for approximately two months from start to finish.
This is my dream: to create commissioned works of art for redesigned spaces. More than speculative work that has no intended location, commissioned work allows me to work closely with architects, designers and building owners to create a unique and wonderful addition to the space. All those years ago playing with my history book taught me to consider the possibilities of what shapes can do. By adding textures and colors, I have been able to realize this dream into becoming a working artist. I wouldn’t trade this experience for anything.