About the Book
"A Portrait of My Mother"
Kentler International Drawing Space
Mother sets the stage for us. She encourages, pesters, creates opportunities and provides the space in which we become ourselves. Once our mother is gone her objects and her space become something more than mere objects. Look carefully, they have become Magical Things.
Magical Things, my ongoing series of watercolors, venerate the easily overlooked objects of everyday life: paperback novels, a thermos, a pencil sharpener. Mundane objects become totems, Milagros—charms of mindfulness, imbued with a power greater than the sum of their parts. Several months ago, after my mother died, I began a trajectory of this work: Magical Things From My Mother’s House.
Included in A Portrait of My Mother are portraits of objects that belonged to my mother, Brenda McNeal. Most are depicted in my own Brooklyn home; in their new surroundings they become both memorial and useful objects.
Also included are larger Windowphilia pieces, the last of my artwork which I discussed with my mother. Inside/Outside: London (Violins), spurred her to reminisce about the music store in Fall River, MA which she frequented with her grandfather. When Bren looked at Inside/Outside: London Windowphilia (Records) she recalled with humor my nursery school days in London when I related after school with consternation: “Mommy, they don’t have records here. They have reCORDs.”
This catalogue was sponsored by Brooklyn Arts Council and New York City Department of Cultural Affairs. Brooklyn Arts Fund (DCLA) is sponsored, in part, by the Greater New York Arts Development Fund of the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, administered by Brooklyn Arts Council (BAC).
Meridith McNeal is a Brooklyn-based artist, educator, curator, arts administrator and hula hooper. Meridith has been a frequent Visiting Artist at the American Academy in Rome. Her work is represented by Figureworks Gallery in Brooklyn, New York. Meridith’s recent solo exhibitions include Portrait of My Mother at Kentler International Drawing Space in Brooklyn, Grand Windows at 705 Driggs in Brooklyn, Inside/Outside Windowphilia, Figureworks, Brooklyn, NY, The View from Here at FiveMyles Gallery in Brooklyn, NY and In Reflection, Torre Truglia, Sperlonga, Italy. Currently on view are two site-specific exhibition Buonappetito and French Windows both in Port Chester, NY. Also in 2017 Meridith represented Sperlonga Italy in the renown Fabriano Paper Festival. In 2019 Meridith was recognized with Artists of the Year by the Circle Foundation for the Arts, Lyon, France. In 2017 she was a finalist in painting for Arte Laguna Prize International Art Award.