Morgan Everhart “making art is the most honest thing I can do”

Morgan Everhart – Photo credit : Lauren Damaskinos

Morgan Everhart is a New York based artist sharing her busy schedule between her artwork, created through painting, installation, performance, and her writing.

She says that “making art is the most honest thing (she) can do” and it is a pleasure to admire her bold colorful paintings.

Among different projetcts, the artist is preparing for her solo show in 2021 at the Ball State University’s Museum in Indiana and developing a 40 foot mural in the Lower East Side, which will be installed Spring 2021 and featured in Neumeraki’s Art Off Screen exhibition. 

Morgan Everhart is committed to support other artists and she is a contributing writer to “A Woman’s Thing” a print and digital publication dedicated to reshaping society’s ideas of what “women’s things” are. “Amplifying others brings me joy and challenges me to be a better person and painter”. I’m happy to share about this talented artist and generous person.

I’ll Take my Chances, Acrylic on Plexiglass Morgan Everhart

What sparked your interest for the arts and to become an artist?

Since the arts were a part of my family’s livelihood, I was comfortable exploring it. However, my twin sister and I were little devils and got into some trouble with acting, modeling, and singing, so we didn’t last long in those pursuits. 

I knew I wanted to be an artist when I realized it was the only thing nobody could take away from me. I don’t need to stand in front of an audience for people to experience it.

Painting removes all of the insecurities I have with my physical self, making art the most honest thing I can do. 

Morgan Everhart – Photo credit : Lauren Damaskinos

Can you share about your message in your work? How much of yourself is revealed in your work?

I think so much of myself is revealed in my work, that I often don’t “get the picture” until years after I’ve completed it. There’s a natural progression of things when I don’t overthink, ask others for feedback, and believe in intuition. 

For example, in 2015 I started a series called, “Flowers for my Failures”, where I painted over years of work and life that I struggled with. Instead of working in the same mindset that I had before 2015, I decided to use florals as a reference to nullify the layers underneath. I still paint flowers these days, but I don’t use them to reflect on failure. Florals have helped me address and incorporate those layers I used to paint over. Now I’m questioning the clarity of depiction in a series called, “The Near and the Personal”, by incorporating florals, landscapes, portraits, and transparent surfaces. 

Double Take, 9 x 12 each, Oct 2019, Morgan Everhart

Which artists do you look up to?

I try to admire everyone’s work- whether they’re dead or alive, emerging or established. There are reasons why people create something, even when it’s objectively terrible. 

When you recognize the potential and kinetic vigor in others, the pursuit of life becomes more meaningful.

I always look up to Amy Sillman, Cora Cohen, Kerry James Marshall, Martin Kippenburger, Alberto Burri, RB Kitaj, Tsibi Geva, Nicole Eisenman, Ross Bleckner, Cecily Brown, Francisco Goya, Agnes Martin, Pierre-Joseph Redoute, and Pierre Auguste Renoir. 

On top of your art practice, you’re actively engaged in the platform A Woman Thing. Can you share about the mission of the platform and what do you like about writing about women in the arts?

The mission of A Women’s Thing’s platform runs parallel with how my relationship developed with them: A Women’s Thing thrives through a growing community of womxn who want to share inspirational stories. A Women’s Thing’s mission is fluid, so it allows people from many different backgrounds to collaborate with them. A Women’s Thing and I enjoyed working together through an interview they did on my art, so we continued to collaborate on other projects, exhibitions, and features. 

Having A Women’s Thing as a platform to approach many different female identifying artists, advisors, gallerists, and organizations has allowed me to expand my own understanding of representation and equity in the art field in every capacity. Amplifying others brings me joy and challenges me to be a better person and painter. 

What are your current projects? How did the pandemic affect your work?

I’m currently working on four double sided paintings on plexiglass for A Women’s Thing’s upcoming viewing room, called “Off Canvas”, opening December 4th. The exhibition is curated by Yassana Croizat-Glazer of YCG Fine Art. Yassana has represented me for several years and now contributes to A Women’s Thing with a column called, “Past Matters”. I’m also developing a 40 foot mural in the Lower East Side, which will be installed Spring 2021 and featured in Neumeraki’s Art Off Screen exhibition. 

Four Seasons 48 x 96 in each 2019 Morgan Everhart

This year has challenged a lot of artists, including myself, to reconsider their intentions in creating. Many people had to focus on survival and mental health due to the pandemic and political unrest. For a while, I didn’t have the energy to paint, so I focused on reading, writing, family, friends, and cooking. 

Right before the pandemic, I made a few paintings that were the most literally figurative paintings I’ve ever made. I think the pandemic helped me skip a few transitional phases that would’ve brought me to what I’m making now. I’m making work that feels more like a necessity instead of a desire.

What would be your advice for another artist? or the best advice you received?

This is my advice for artists who want to do it full time: Surround yourself with people you respect and admire. Always be honest with yourself, know your worth, answer emails in a timely manner, take high resolution photos of your work, and update your website. 

I heard Marilyn Minter say to Debbie Millman’s Design Matters podcast, “If I’m not learning from it, I won’t do it.” That may be the best way to prioritize any project you’re considering.

My undergraduate professor, Rober Jessup, would tell everyone, “Just keep painting and don’t let the other stuff distract you”. James Siena, an artist friend I once worked with, recommended to, “Always have three different shows ready”.

You have a solo show scheduled for 2021. Can you tell us about the work you are preparing for that show?

In 2021, Ball State University’s Museum is exhibiting my paintings in a show called, “Flesh and Bloom”. The works in this exhibition, which is curated by Yassana Croizat-Glazer of YCG Fine Art, are of figurative florals I’ve completed over the past three years. For the first time, we’re exhibiting the entire series the Four Seasons, which reflects on Alphonse Mucha, Pierre Joseph Redoute, Francois Boucher, and my obsession with making paintings that imply atmospheric perspective in the flattest way. 

I’ll Take my Chances, Acrylic on Plexiglass, Morgan Everhart

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