Be Here Now - Maine College of Art

Eden McDowell '17

Art and architecture have always fascinated me; I have combined the two since my earliest memories. As soon as I came to MECA, I surrounded myself with the medium that defines it all: sculpture.

Describe a body of work that you are currently working on:
Post graduation, I am finding balance between personal, conceptual research and commissioned work. I’m currently designing and building a table for a woman I just met to help support my practice and upcoming trip to the Venice Biennale. Amid local projects, I am reading (and rereading) the books: Ways of Seeing by John Berger and The Hero with a Thousand Faces by Joseph Campbell for insight on new theories and approaches from my new location of Mystic, Connecticut. My present endeavors revolve around the importance of a relic, the facade, and the psychology behind them. When I return from the Biennale l will begin on my next body of work, hopefully with some great inspiration.

What’s your background? What made you chose to go into art?
I grew up in a house built by shipmaster from 1836, was raised by a mother who restores art and a father who makes art. Art and architecture have always fascinated me, and I have combined the two since my earliest memories. As soon as I went to MECA, I took every three dimensional discipline I could, and surrounded myself with the medium that defines it all: sculpture.

How has your education at MECA shaped you as an artist?
The network of MECA faculty and peers have guided me in so many ways. I think the close-knit community of MECA allowed for critiques to be powerful and effective—and for conversations and visual growth to prosper. From freshmen year to the final thesis exhibition, I have not only discovered my practice, but am continuing into the world of art-making with confidence.

What inspires you?
Space (negative), yard sales, and stories gathered through eavesdropping.

What kind of career do you want to pursue after graduation?
My current objective is to apply to as many things and accept as many opportunities as I can. I am in the midst of organizing a studio space, which will be the utmost important thing for me to continue my practice as a sculptor. I am also researching a number of international artist residencies that I would like to attend next Spring, as well as gallery shows near and far. Career wise, I am taking it year by year, but I eventually would like to attend a graduate program to become a teacher for the arts.

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?
“Never turn down an opportunity!” I’m far too curious to pass up exciting events, and it’s always a disappointment when you can’t get somewhere just from not trying. Also, “Be here now,” because it’s easy to get distracted within this world of art and people.

Visit Eden’s website here.

Eden McDowell, Desert Tableau, 2017, plywood, roofing metal, 2X4, pigment, cactus: 3.5’X8′ roof: 3.5’X4.5′ cattle grate: 2’X1.5’X1.5′