Megan Mosholder

Megan Mosholder, “Trial by Fire,” 2019, wood, charred wood, ash, eyelets, and hand-painted string illuminated with black light, 9′ x 9′ x 8′ [photo: David Batterman]

ART PAPERS: Where do you look for inspiration? 

Megan Mosholder: I am intrigued by space. Specifically, the way certain landscapes can acquire meaning based on decisive events or how a site-specific installation can transform the white cube of the gallery. Most often, I convey this fascination by creating compositions out of thousands of feet of white twine brushed with an invisible ultraviolet acrylic. As the sun sets or the light dims, the strings are illuminated with black light, mimicking twilight.

AP: What do you wish for people to know about your work?

MM: My installations are intended to be conversation pieces. For example, my most recent installation Davidstern (Star of David) (2019) seeks to [prompt] a sociopolitical conversation with those who experience it. Davidstern means Star of David in German. The Star of David is referred to as the Shield of David in Hebrew and is considered a protective symbol. I chose the German translation of this word as a way to reference WWII, the Holocaust, and the Nazis to expose the distressing rise of white supremacy in our country. This installation serves as a glowing beacon of protection while also providing space to contemplate what it means to be aware and actively attentive to important facts and issues, especially issues of racial and social injustice. I believe this conversation can be started through my title(s) and it allows me to voice my concerns without lecturing or alienating my viewers.

Davidstern is made out of hand-painted rope illuminated with black light and is on view through February 29, 2020 in Woodruff Park, Atlanta as part of Dashboard’s PRISM exhibition.

AP: How do you know when a work is finished? 

MM: The work begins conceptually but I work intuitively. My installations begin with a culmination of drawing strategies and they always change in little ways while I am immersed in the physical act of construction. Typically, I’m the only one engaged in the physical labor of my installations and there have been times when I’ve had to walk away from a piece because I have run out of time to work. This is the worst case scenario and it has always filled me with anxiety, but it often turns into a happy accident: the missing parts or negative space always seem to create more visual interest.

AP: Describe your studio when you’re working. 

MM: Depending on what I’m making, my studio space varies. Working as a site-specific installation artist has forced my studio out into the public and the creation of the work almost becomes a performance. It forces me to deal with mistakes and the unknown with a levelheadedness that has gotten me through many difficult installations. Music is a must, but I have also listened to movies or podcasts while installing just to have something for my brain to casually listen to while I’m engaged in the tedious and repetitive act of stringing, and then painting that string by hand. I prefer to work at night and cannot seem to make it to a job site before 10 am because my brain has never worked well early in the morning.

black-lit neon green and orange string enclosed in glass case

Megan Mosholder, BOX 1, hand-painted twine, wood, plexiglass and black light, 2019, 20x21x10 [photo: Brock Scott]

black-lit blue and red string enclosed in glass case

Megan Mosholder, BOX 2, hand-painted twine, wood, plexiglass and black light, 2019, 20x21x10 [photo: Brock Scott]

AP: Which artist(s) would you most like for your work to be displayed next to? 

MM: Teresita Fernández, James Turrell, Gabriel Dawe, Chiharu Shiota, Louise Bourgeois, Richard Serra, Robert Smithson, Eva Hesse, Tara Donovan, Ann Hamilton, El Anatsui, Andy Goldsworthy, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Mark Bradford.

AP: Why did you choose to support Art Papers by participating in the 21st Annual ART PAPERS Art Auction? 

MM: I believe in the concept of an art community and have always said: you need to show up and advocate for your community if you want that advocacy to be reciprocated. I love Art Papers and the ART PAPERS Art Auction. The support between us has always been mutual.

AP: What are your plans for 2020? Do you have upcoming shows or projects you’d like to share?

MM: I have two permanent installations being built in Chicago and Pittsburgh that I cannot go into any detail about because of the non-disclosure contracts I’ve signed; I will be completing my BeltLine gateway sculpture in the West End; I am installing for ArtFields 2020 and I have a show opening in October at Francis Marion University. I will also be teaching at Kennesaw State University, moving my studio in June and I have residencies at both the Hambidge Center and the Studios of Key West. Oh and I’ll be learning how to walk again.

AP: Read anything good lately?

MM: I have enjoyed getting lost in Caleb Carr’s murder mysteries.


Learn more about Megan Mosholder on her website, or follow her on Instagram, @meganmosholderart.

Learn more about the 21st Annual ART PAPERS Art Auction here.

Portrait of the artist Megan Mosholder

Megan Mosholder, self-portrait

Image is of a gazebo (Woodruff ParK) which has been strung with neon black-lit blue strings and whose ceiling boasts a neon black-lit green Star of David by Megan Mosholder

Davidstern (Star of David), 2019, hand-painted rope illuminated with black light, on view through February 29th, 2020 in Woodruff Park, Atlanta, GA as part of Dashboard’s PRISM exhibition [photo: David Batterman]