Annabelle Meacham: From Dream Time to This Time
April 8, 2022–June 3, 2022
From Krishna Adams, Director of Visual Arts, Craft, Media, and Design –
Whimsical, fantastical, dreamy, and at times opulent, are just a few ways to describe Meacham’s neo-surrealist works. Each piece offers up a moment of contemplation and curiosity.
An artist since the third grade, Meacham went on to earn a Bachelor of Arts in Business from Florida State University. She also studied as a full-time student at the Memphis College of Art. A world traveler living in England and the U.S., she has spent the past five years getting to know her new home of Memphis.
“Art is about mental associations, and then thinking and exploring and making. I try to evoke mental associations with others by showing the unexpected images that appear, unbidden, from my subconscious, in my mind. Tapping into this unbidden imagery gives me hope that others might recognize me.” – Meacham
The exhibition title, From Dream Time to This Time is an apt description of the process Meacham goes through in creating each work. She has years of hastily sketched neo-surrealist (imagery created from dreams) drawings waiting to be painted and shared with the world. When asked to explain where she gets ideas for her paintings, she explains that the images appear vividly in the subconscious of her dreams. Meacham will wake with the image fresh in her mind and quickly jot down a sketch so she won’t lose the idea. Click here to view exhibition.
While often working on 3-4 paintings simultaneously, Meacham creates both segmented and story paintings. The segmented paintings are layered realities mostly of nature, with each segment showing awareness of space between objects. Some of her works also include the usage of a color outline around objects (as seen in Early Morning, 2011). By incorporating this technique, Meacham brightens and brings into focus images of importance. People can also be found occasionally in her work; sometimes, they are people she knows or images of random people she finds intriguing.
One intriguing aspect of her paintings is the addition of a painted and stamped frame as part of the canvas, thus allowing the painting to be framed fully as the artist’s intent. The frames (as seen on Luna, 2021) are created by building up several layers of acrylic, glazes, and varnish, then using intricate stamps often created by Meacham; she will further gild the edges. It’s no stretch to understand that Meacham is an animal lover; often, paintings will include birds, rabbits, horses, and even Luna moths. If you pick up on a feathered friend theme by spotting a peacock, crow, owl, hummingbirds, goldfinches, and such, it’s not a coincidence. Meacham believes that birds wake up with joy and are the personification of the human spirit; that is why you may discover these birds throughout the exhibition.
When asked about what draws Meacham to paint and create, she explained that color vibrates for her and that she sees color in layers. This relationship to color and nature has led to her career as an artist. Meacham’s work has received numerous awards and honors. She has had one-person shows at Duke University, the Arts Center of the Ozarks, the Univ. of Mississippi, Savannah College of Art and Design, and the list goes on.
Her paintings can be found in the collections of the Arts Center of the Ozarks in Springdale, AR; Holiday Inns Hotel Group, Embassy Suites in Dallas, TX; the Meridian Museum of Art in Meridian, MS; and the University of Wisconsin Gunderson Cancer Center, Wasau Hospital in Wasau, WI. In Memphis, her work can be found in the collections at the Federal Express Headquarters, The City of Memphis’ Movable Collection, LeBonheur Children’s Hospital (where she was commissioned to create 19 paintings), Methodist Hospice Center, Perkins Family Restaurants Headquarters, and Promus Hotel Corporation, to name a few.
As a prolific artist, her work has been reviewed in Art in America, The Commercial Appeal (Memphis), The DeSoto Magazine out of Hernando, MS; Who’s Who in American Women, and The Memphis Business Journal. Her work was included in Art in Mississippi: 1720 to 1980, by Patti Carr Black, Co-published by the M.S. Historical Society, the M.S. Dept of Archives and History, and the University Press of M.S. In 2004 Meacham also designed the front cover for Simonoid’s rock album titled Like Salvador Dali.