Interview with Megan Stroech

Hold It Canvas, foam, collage, latex paint 50 x 45 in.

Hold It
Canvas, foam, collage, latex paint
50 x 45 in.

Could you give us a brief introduction to who you are and what kind of work you make?
I’m Megan Stroech, and I live and work in Chicago, IL. I received my MFA in Printmaking at Illinois State University in 2012 and my BFA in Studio Art from the University of Texas at Austin in 2008. My work exists in many different iterations, most recently as digital collages made of items I’ve scanned and manipulated. I also make large found object wall collages, monotype prints and a bit of sculpture.

Where do you gather most of the inspiration for your works?
The materials I find or seek out for my work usually determine the overall form of the work. I source a lot from hardware and dollar stores, and recently I’ve been utilizing pool floats and teacher’s classroom supplies such as bulletin board covers and printed cardstock. A lot of my work is also the product of daily observations throughout the city, noticing funny or strange instances throughout my day.

What types of obstacles have you run into in your artistic practice and how do you go about navigating around them?
I’m always weary of aspects of my work feeling gimmicky or like something I’ve made before, for instance reusing a mark or material within multiple works. In an effort to avoid that, I often try to set some parameters or restrictions for myself, such as limiting the amount of materials used within a specific work or color palette.

What do you feel are the recurring themes in your visual work?  
I think a lot about creating an awkward tension in my work, and that tension is often a humorous one. Many of the forms or ways that different materials interact within the work are based on everyday human interactions. I think about the weight of materials, and ways to create a sense of movement, whether it is implied or actual motion. I’ve also recently been incorporating stock landscape imagery as a way to reference the viewer’s relationship to space and environment. 

Ice Cream Collar Carpet, pool float, wood, cotton, collage, latex paint 27.5 x 21 in.

Ice Cream Collar
Carpet, pool float, wood, cotton, collage, latex paint
27.5 x 21 in.