Maegan Jenkins
Conveying spontaneity and wonder are the foundations of my artwork. Comics, Claymation, puppets, fairytales, embroidery, and the handmade movement influence me. As I am very much a “hands on” person, I value D.I.Y. (Do It Yourself) ethics and enjoy vigorous handmade processes like felting, silk-screening, or creating stop- motion animations. Narrative stories – real or imagined are the driving forces behind my practice. This leads me to be attracted to materials that are embedded with their own narrative like Paper mâché, wool roving, glass beads, and tomato cages. I believe these materials lend accessibility to my art since they are easy to come across or produce.

I value art that is accessible and community-based. I am interested in the way art can create empathy across different communities of people and how we can organize meaning from shared experiences. This collaborative approach to storytelling and performing is apparent in television shows such as Pee Wee’s Playhouse, Faerie Tale Theater, and H.R. Pufnstuf. The whimsical and absurd nature of these shows inspired my most recent piece for the BFA exhibition. I created a deep-sea installation complete with felt sea anemones and a human- sized Squid puppet, which required a performer to be inside of it in order to be active. Throughout out the night, the giant squid grabbed, scared, and accepted food from people at the gallery. It was a fulfilling experience to create an installation in which both children and adults could enjoy. I see myself continuing to collaborate with theater companies and different artists to create community-based work that is both unique and relatable. It is important for me as an artist to look for new ways in which generational gaps can be bridged.