Every month, The People’s Yoga features local artists in our studio spaces. This month we have had two very special creatives showcasing their talents on our walls. Let’s get to know Megan Novak and Rachael Rice a bit better…
MEGAN NOVAK @ NE KILLINGSWORTH
Join us on Saturday, March 28th, 7-9PM at NE Killingsworth to meet the artist! Light snacks and beverages will be provided, and everyone is welcome.
A “path” is fun to trace: to observe where you are now compared to, say, 8 years ago. What thing led to another thing that led to another and another that led you to exactly where you are right now? With an underlying intention always present, it is possible to trace every step along the way as paving that path to geographically position yourself to right where you stand in this room.
In my case, keeping alive my love for costumes, organic lines, and beautiful fabrics and textiles has been the “common denominator” on my journey. I started out in Los Angeles where working in a yarn store dyeing yarns and teaching fiber art classes bode well as my “laboratory” for my personal costume and clothing creations. Yarn store led to meeting a hand-knitting fashion designer named ‘Twinkle’ who invited me to do an internship with her in NYC. And of course if you have any fire under tushy in that city, you can go very far. I worked in fashion design as a technical designer (which felt a little underwhelming and corporate), while simultaneously teaching fiber art classes at a knitting store in the West Village. This is where I met a lady who invited me to essentially be a fiber artist’s artist for 5 years, working for someone who really showed me some ropes, no pun intended. We made swirly rugs, wall pieces, and sculptures with wool to install in home interiors. It was an attempt to soften people’s modern spaces. I moved here to Portland after living in NYC for 7 years. Still the same me with deep love and interest for fabrics, yarns, and what one can do with these beautiful things.
I started making these Cordon Weaves in NYC about 2 years ago. I’ve since showcased them in a few art galleries in Norway and Brooklyn, now Portland. Studies of randomness, I began weaving with cotton cording, rope, yarn, copper wire, and the occasional “bonus” object. These ingredients result in a soft, curious terrain, with ups and downs, ins and outs, plush parts and hard parts, without over thinking; pieces are totally seamless (they won’t fall apart). All are woven onto a special branch.
Each piece requires a whole new start; as if I’ve never encountered this branch, these ropes, this yarn. What happens in each moment varies from the moment before because, well it’s inherently different. Approaching each new piece is analogous to meeting a new person: Seeing a body, assuming its potential, dancing with it to understand a relationship, and once this involvement has run its course, letting it go.
Megan’s work is currently up at our NE Killingsworth studio. Find out more or contact Megan on her website: www.megymade.com
RACHAEL RICE @ SE BELMONT
Artist, writer, teacher, speaker.
I travel, teach, perform, and create nonstop.
I am a magical creature.
And I’ve devoted most of my life to teaching others how to move through fear and confusion into creative expression. My background is in critical pedagogy/constructivist theory and educating for democracy with a concentration in Art and English. I have spent over 20 years in the public school classroom as a certified, licensed teacher, as well as in after-school and out of school programs that serve primarily at-risk youth, folks with disabilities and low-income communities. My work has always been with the forgotten, the overlooked and the under-funded. My heart beats for social justice, for equality, and for conscious awareness of my extreme privilege to be able to be of service in this life.
This TPY show in particular focuses on some experimental explorations in abstraction and color along with a few stylized beastie paintings that are more illustration-driven.
In general, the dreamcatcher-type pieces I create are an homage and tribute to the peoples who taught me the craft growing up in Oklahoma. I donate a portion of all of their sales to Indigenous Rights groups fighting climate change by blocking pipelines, tar sands, fracking and other methods of preserving sacred lands.
My work matters because the answers to the world’s problems will come from very, very creative people. To be able to engage in the creative process, to find your flow, to fully express something inside of you, creates healing.
And I am here to remind you we all need healing.
Rachael’s work is currently up at our SE Belmont studio. Find out more or contact Rachael on her website: www.rachaelrice.com