“Reckless Fun” by Megan Marlatt Opens at Barton Art Galleries on March 22

Megan Marlatt - The Last Toy Painting in RedWILSON, N.C. – March 10, 2015 — Artist Megan Marlatt brings her unique creations to the Barton Art Galleries for an invitational exhibition titled “Reckless Fun,” which opens Sunday, March 22. The exhibition, sponsored by the Barton College Friends of Visual Arts, runs from March 22 through April 10 and will feature a variety of her works. An opening wine and cheese reception to introduce the exhibit will be held on March 22 from 4 p.m. – 6 p.m. in Case Art Building. This event is open to the public at no charge, and the community is invited to attend.

In conjunction with the exhibition, FOVA will host its Spring Lecture and Dinner featuring Marlatt on March 22. Her lecture begins at 5 p.m. in Case Art Building, with dinner to follow at 6 p.m. in Kennedy Family Theatre. Reservations are required. For more information or to make reservations, please contact Frances Belcher at (252) 399-6357 or fbelcher@barton.edu.

Drawing inspiration from the traditional to the offbeat, Marlatt’s art takes many forms. For the past decade, much of her work has focused on cheap plastic toys that come packaged in fast food kids’ meals. Salvaged from thrift shops, these discarded and forgotten treasures invoke themes of mass consumerism, culture, and childhood.

“I found the toys culturally loaded, emotionally edgy and uncomfortable in their plastic material,” Marlatt shared. “As I observed them for hours, day after day, in my practice of painting, they would move, either by settling into the inevitable gravity that would pull the toy pile down, or jiggling in the corner of my eye’s peripheral vision as I turned away to find a color on my palette. I concluded that I wasn’t painting still lifes, I was painting unstill lifes.”

She also embarked on a series of “Big Heads,” giant, cartoonish caricatures reminiscent of puppet heads. Through paintings and papier-mâché busts, she wanted to capture the invisible anima, or soul, that breathes life into a being. An equally ambitious project titled the “Drawing Roll; Start Here, May 2010,” is an unfinished pencil drawing on a three-inch high by 165-foot long paper cash register roll chronicling Marlatt’s international travels since the summer of 2010. She has also created several large-scale public art installations and murals. Her works have been featured in art festivals, and solo and group exhibitions across the United States and abroad.

Marlatt earned her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree at the Memphis College of Art, and her Master of Fine Arts degree at Rutgers University. Since 1988, she has served as a professor of art at the University of Virginia.

For additional information about the “Reckless Fun” exhibition, please contact the Barton Art Galleries at (252) 399-6477 or artgalleries@barton.edu.