19 Aug Q&A with Megan Benson, Maker-in-Residence
by Kris Hurst
Weave your way down to Ignite Studio to meet our newest Maker-in-Residence: Megan Benson! Megan is a fiber artist and weaver, who brings a contemporary focus to this traditional medium. Megan will be in the Ignite Maker-in-Residence studio September-December 2022 along with an 8-shaft 38” jack floor loom that traveled to Fishers from New Zealand. Megan will offer classes for adults, a community weaving project, and special classes for our Pre-K patrons. Read for a Q&A with Megan Benson, Maker-in-Residence, on to find out more about the world of fiber.
Q&A with Megan Benson, Maker-in-Residence
What mediums do you work in and why?
I work in mostly natural fibers. I love the feel of wool, cotton, linen and the wide range of types, textures and sizes to explore.
Where do you draw artistic inspiration from?
I take inspiration from everywhere. I often look to traditional, American colonial-era textiles as a starting-off point and am inspired by whatever I’m experiencing in life, social issues, music, family dynamics, etc. to explore new directions and create something unique.
What is your favorite art tool/supply?
I love fat wool roving (wool before it is spun into yarn). It is squishy, soft and smooth. Aesthetically I love the look and feel of it. I haven’t used it a whole lot in my work to this point, but I do have a plan for a large piece to construct during my residency.
Who are some of your favorite artists?
I love the work of contemporary weaver Diedrick Brackens. Other artists whom I admire right now are: Yvette Mayorga, Jordan Nassar and Nick Cave. Of course, I look to Anni Albers and Sheila Hicks as greats in the realm of fiber arts.
What kinds of things will you be doing during your residency in Ignite?
During my residency, my main focus will be exploring some large-scale projects that I lack the space for in my home studio as well as creating a new collection of work. I will be constructing large frame looms that I will weave upon and to be used for a community weaving project. I will design a piece with input from Ignite patrons that will be available during drop-in studio times to be woven on by the community. I will also be teaching workshops covering tapestry weaving for children and adults, and the basics of the floor loom.
What art accomplishment are you most proud of?
I am most proud of receiving the Indiana Arts Commission’s On-Ramp Fellowship in 2018. The Arts Commission is such an amazing resource and support network for artists throughout the state. The On-Ramp program experience helped me to grow in my confidence as an artist as well as establish my business. I highly recommend it to all artists!
What is something you still hope to accomplish in art?
I hope to someday have a solo show of my work.
What else do you want the HEPL community to know about you?
I have taught a sewing class for clients of Exodus Refugee Immigration for the last four years. I love teaching and sharing my knowledge of textiles. I am super excited to work with the HEPL community and want to introduce weaving to any and everyone with an interest.
Classes with Megan Benson
To register for classes with Megan Benson during her residency in Ignite, visit Ignite Studio’s event calendar. We hope to see you in Ignite this fall!
Presented with support from the Fishers Arts and Culture Commission.