Born and bred on Mid-Western sensibilities, Maggie Schmiegelow is currently pursuing her Master of Fine Arts degree at The Ohio State University. She earned her BFA in Printmaking from the University of Central Missouri in Warrensburg, Missouri in 2018. Maggie has exhibited her work regionally in the Lalaland Gallery in Fayetteville, AR., Roy G. Biv Gallery, Columbus, OH., Kansas City Artists’ Coalition Undergraduate College Student Exhibition, Kansas City, MO. and in the Nebraska National Undergraduate Exhibition, Lincoln, NE.
Q & A
What makes more livable futures for you?
Considering what “more livable futures” looks like for me is a complex thing. It is hard to look at where you are and know where you need to be going or where you hope to end up. That being said, I think at the core of this question, my answer is listening. I believe that a more livable future exists in a place where we are listening to the earth, interacting with it through a means of respect, and letting this body tell us what it longs for rather than telling it what it needs. This floods over into contemporary feminist ideas for me as well. I feel we have to return to a state of existence in which we celebrate our bodies, our being, our womanhood. We should be able to have a true connection with our inner souls or the “erotic” to borrow the words of Audre Lorde. While I cannot say for certain what that looks like, for everyone, it looks like presence to me. It comes from paying attention, from listening and investigating that which you do not know or cannot understand. It requires creative inquiry grounded in the language of care and consideration.
What are you reading, viewing, listening to right now?
A substantial element to my studio practice is absorption of information and resources. I find that the inspiration for finding the materiality or conceptual grounding of a project is often located in the specific language people choose to describe things. I am reading all the time, hoping to excavate these nuggets of wisdom that can help me locate my work. Some of the most potent things I have been reading currently are Emergent Strategy, by adrienne maree brown, an essay from Performance Research–A Journal of the Performing Arts–On Ecology, How Do We Live on Earth, by Stephen Bottoms, Aaron Franks and Paula Kramer, Speaking with Animal Tongues, by David Abram and The Uses of the Erotic: The Erotic as Power by Audre Lorde. While most of my ideation is grounded in literature, it is also important for me to visually stimulate creative possibilities. Some of the things I have seen that are feeding my current state of mind are Berlin’s installation at the Wexner Center for the Arts, Zvizdal (Chernobyl–so far so close) and Regina José Galindo’s performance work, Tierra.
What practices are sustaining you?
My studio practice is a rather fluid thing. I find that it manifests itself and sustains me in a variety of ways and shifts frequently over time. Currently, walking has been an important component of my creative practices. Allowing myself time to ground my soul in the morning by walking and reading lighter, yet relevant content feeds me in critical ways. Reading a variety of texts is something that remains at the core of my practice, even as it shifts. Language is critical to my ideation processes. Collaborative conversation among colleagues, mentors and creatives has been playing an important role for me as I investigate new ideas, materials and vocabularies. I have also found it helpful to generate word association lists that are thematically geared towards specific research questions I am asking. A blending of stream of consciousness, curiosity, stored research and language allows me to recognize new avenues of interest or relevance that might have been previously undisclosed to me.