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Tuesday, November 28, 2023


St. Thomas artist Madeleine I.E. Meehan has a show opening Friday evening, Feb. 23, at the Tillett Gallery. There's a meet-the-artist reception from 4:30 to 10 p.m.
Don't expect to find her in the gallery most of time between 8 and 10 p.m., however. That's when Argentinian solo guitarist Jorge Morel and the guitar/vocals duo Ramo & Heidi will be performing in concert on the Arts Alive stage in Tillett Gardens, and Meehan will most likely be seated close up with her pen and paper, transforming their artistic performances into her own.
This is something Meehan has developed a following for doing over the years, and she even has a name for it: "Mostly Music Art."
In dramatic, swirling pen – and later, brush – strokes, she sets out to "capture the creative energy" of performing artists in her drawings and paintings. Describing her style as "lyrically expressionist," she says her work "brings new vision" to the artistry of the performers.
Meehan, who has transformed performances into pen strokes from front-row seats at concerts for years, makes a point of saying that the works she creates then and there are not "sketches" but "drawings." The distinction is that a drawing stands on its own artistically, while a sketch is a preliminary work-up for a permanent piece to come.
The Tillett Gallery exhibition will showcase pen-and-ink drawings, oils and aquarelles Meehan has done of musicians who have appeared in Tillett Gardens concerts over the last nine seasons – violinist Xiao Dong Wang, Corky Siegal's Chamber Blues, violist Nokothula Ngwenyama, the Eroika Trio, classical guitarist Virginia Luque, fiddler Mark O'Connor, the Paul Oscher Blues Band, the Charlie Musselwhite Blues Band, and The Gryphon Trio – as well as St. Thomas flamenco dancer Maria Elena Sarria performing on the Arts Alive stage.
Meehan's "Mostly Music Art" subject matter has also included Caribbean Dance Company, the Joseph Gomez Machislan Bamboula Dancers, the Sax Cymbals and V.I. Carnival figures locally, and performers in Havana, Cuba (her birthplace); at the Istanbul Jazz Festival in Turkey; and at Carifesta VII.
Meehan received her artistic training at the High School of Music and Art in New York, the Fontainbleau Fine Arts School in France, and Cornell, Columbia and New York Universities. She is a life member of the Art Students League in New York and has exhibited in more than a hundred solo and group shows. She maintains studios on St. Thomas and in Easthampton, Long Island, N.Y.

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