Rachel Meginnes

Rachel Meginnes

Fibers/Mixed Media | Bakersville

The North Carolina Arts Council supports diverse and innovative artists with fellowships professional development and more to enhance the state’s brand and drive economic impact.

Beginning with a meditative process, fiber artist Rachel Meginnes transforms vintage quilts into evocative mixed media paintings that testify to the loss and perseverance inherent in their making and materials. As she explains, “Discarded and auctioned-off, my work begins when the function for these textiles ends. I find the holes, the mends, and draw attention to them, peeling all layers back so others can see, how beauty develops in loss and destruction.”

There is a cathartic quality to her creative process. Meginnes deconstructs discarded quilts stitch-by-stitch, removing layers until she is left with the foundational remnants of the cotton batting. Then with this exposed central layer, she transforms the ethereal, web-like fibers into two-dimensional paintings through a process of reconstruction and layering. Using colorful paints and fibers, she highlights and builds upon original traces of stitching and evidence of making, creating works that illustrate the transformation from functional item to a work of art. Her works capture both the modest origins of her source materials, while illustrating the primal beauty of loss and memory. As she observes, “My objective is not of preservation or conservation, but rather an honorific act of aiming to understand and appreciate our human ability to persevere.”

Meginnes is a 2018-2019 N.C. Arts Council Artist Fellowship recipient. The owner of Plainweave Studios in Penland, she was a resident artist at the Penland School of Crafts from 2012 to 2015. Her works have been acquired by the Art in the Embassies Collection in Amman, Jordan and the Cameron Art Museum in Wilmington, among others. Rachel received Honorable Mention for the 2016 James Renwick Chrysalis Award, an accolade that recognizes emerging artists that represent the future field of craft. She received her M.F.A. from the University of Washington, Seattle and lives in Bakersville.