Saturday, October 29, 2011


The Fayetteville Underground is Morphing into Something New
Artists to Launch a New Nonprofit Community Arts Organization
The artists and the board of the Fayetteville Underground gathered last week in the Vault Gallery, for a meeting to discuss future plans of the organization.  It was at this meeting that the board revealed they would be dissolving The Fayetteville Underground at the end of the year.  They did not leave open the option for the artists to carry on with the current organization.  After the meeting the artists stayed to discuss the news and plan for the future.  A decision was made by the artists to create a new arts organization based on the current model.  
Studio Artist and current Co-Artisic Director of the Fayetteville Underground, Megan Chapman, commented, “A lot of time and energy goes into creating something as special as The Fayetteville Underground. Every studio artist, every craft artist and every visiting artist that has shown at The Underground has made it what it is today. The artists know that we can take what we have learned through our experience here, and go forward to create something new that is even more impressive and exciting for all the artists involved, as well as for the community at large.”  
The November and December First Thursdays at the Fayetteville Underground will continue as planned.  The artists have launched a website to help transition to a new organization, and individuals can find the website at:  The artists are also asking that community members help them select a new name, by voting online or in person at the November First Thursday.  Voting will end on November 7th, and the winning name will be released the following day.  As the Fayetteville Underground takes a new shape, the artists ask that the community continue their support and direct any ideas, proposals or donations to the website at:

Please remember! The Fayetteville Underground will remain open through December. Please join us for our November and December opening receptions on the First Thursday of each month from 5-8pm. Our regular gallery hours are W-F 12-5 and Saturday 10-5 and we will maintain our hours and our galleries until the end of the year. Thank you for your support and please help us as we move forward.

Friday, October 14, 2011

What I know is true...


There has been a lot of talk about the Fayetteville Underground lately. A lot of talk from artists, friends, patrons, supporters, media and board members: you name it, people are talking. It has been as interesting to be a part of, as it has been to overhear and watch. As Andy Warhol was quoted as saying, "Don't pay any attention to what they write about you. Just measure it in inches." With all of this buzz in the air, sometimes I just need to cut through the chatter and remember what I know is true of my experience at the Fayetteville Underground. There are many amazing things that I have been a part of at the Fayetteville Underground and some that I am directly responsible for. This is a list for me, so I can remember.

When I joined The Underground, I wanted a place to work away from my home studio. That was my only expectation. The first year I was there I didn't show my work in the galleries or sell my work from my studio as I was under contract with the lovely ddp gallery on Mountain St. Since the organization needed money and couldn't make any from me, I worked more volunteer hours than most to subsidize my rent and prove my worth. I wasn't counting the hours though, because I soon knew I was a part of something bigger than just a studio and that what you put into the Fayetteville Underground was what you got out of it. When the ddp gallery closed, I started showing and selling my work through The Underground as well and I was overwhelmed not only with sales but also all the opportunities that seemed to come my way. Suddenly it became apparent that we, the artists,  were building something Fayetteville had never seen before.

On Saturday April, 25th, 2009 soon after moving my studio to the Underground I created the Fayetteville Underground Blog, to help familiarize the public with what was happening in the basement of the empty "old bank building." At first this blog was more in depth, as I interviewed artists and compiled press information for them with pictures of our new location.

I still maintain the blog today, posting special events and press information for upcoming shows, as well as other notable mentions for the Underground community. It serves as a small record of what we have accomplished in a short period of time and of all the brilliant artists that have crossed our path.

Besides starting the Fayetteville Undground blog, I was directly responsible for bringing many exhibitions to the Fayetteville Underground, listed below. This was an enormous task. There were countless emails, chats, diagrams, photographs, writings, ideas and questions sent back and forth between myself and some of the artists. Sometimes I even funded these shows, printing them in house, as well as mounting them. I also installed many of the exhibitions as well, handled sales and shipped the works back. I learned so much and have such a different understanding and appreciation of gallery owners and artists because of this. Thanks to all the visiting artists who had a show at the Fayetteville Underground. It was a pleasure working with you and your brilliant art. Thanks to Henry Turner for printing and installation assistance on the Institute du loop and Christian Demare exhibitions.

Matters of Consequence: January 2010 : Revolver Gallery
Christopher Baber and Michael Shaefer from Hot Springs, Arkansas

Strangers and Not So Strange: Feburary 2010: Hive Gallery

Craig Earl Nelson from Fayetteville, Arkansas

A place to drown: July 2010: Hive Gallery 

Institute du loop from Taipei, Taiwan 

Ghosts in the Landscape #2: August 2010:
Hive Gallery 
Christian Demare from Paris, France

North, West, East, South: September 2010: Hive Gallery

Thomas Petillo from Nashville,Tennessee 

Theft by finding: April 2011: Hive Gallery 

Steven Heaton, Rob Kedwards, John Spurgeon (aka Shakesmyteeth) all from U.K.

Iteration/Span: May 2011: Hive Gallery

Stewart Bremner from Edinburgh, Scotland and Craig Munro from Birmingham, England

Mise en Place: July 2011: Hive Gallery

Michele Maule from Portland, Oregon

The World Without Us: September 2011: Hive Gallery

Steven Heaton from Manchester, England

Animal Technology: October 2011: Hive Gallery 

Flannery Grace Horan from Little Rock, Arkansas and Becki Lamascus from Fayetteville, Arkansas

As well as the exhibitions, I also gave several talks about my art, the Fayetteville Underground, the shows I curated and marketing art in general. I gave a lecture to the Boston Mountain Potters Association, on ways to successfully market one's art. I also gave the talk Art Collecting 101: The Thrill of Original Art at the Revolver gallery and gave a two-hour lecture/tour for students of The Osher Institute, called Artful Spaces: A visit to the Fayetteville Underground.

In July 2010 I gave an art talk about English artist, Institute du Loop's exhibition and in August I spoke about the work of French photographer Christian Demare. In September I lead another lecture/tour for the students of the Osher Institute and in November I gave an informal lecture about my work to a group of university students studying with artist Cindy Wiseman. Speaking about art and engaging the community is something I really enjoy doing. It was such a thrill to create my own opportunities and give back to the community at the same time.

Besides those speaking engagements, I often speak monthly with our local National Public Radio affiliate, KUAF's correspondent Jacqueline Froelich on Ozarks at Large, about our upcoming exhibitions. If I am not speaking, I am helping to facilitate the other artist's interviews.

Besides these exciting and more obvious tasks there are many other organizational things I do behind the scenes of the organization along with Co-Artistic Director Jennifer Libby Fay. We have helped schedule the artist's gallery shifts so that The Underground maintains regular gallery hours. We have also created the bulk of the programming for the Fayetteville Underground. Many weekly meetings are spent reviewing artist's submissions for exhibitions and studios from near and far. We spend hours coordinating with visiting artists, studio artists, and craft artists to fill our four galleries each month with top notch shows. We have also encouraged our fellow Underground artists to curate additional shows creating a varied and inclusive exhibition schedule.

Jennifer and I also coordinate the publicity with studio artist Matthew Depper, to make sure all the artists showing at the Fayetteville Underground get the publicity they deserve, as well as supervising the snappy banners, posters and vinyl letters that Matthew designs and orders, to help make us the professional organization that we have become.

A lot of time and energy goes into creating something as special as The Underground. Every studio artist, every craft artist and every visiting artist that has shown at The Underground has made it what it is today. I am grateful for all the opportunities the Fayetteville Underground has given me and my fellow artists.

I could never have done any of this without Jennifer Libby Fay. We make a brilliant team and I thank The Fayetteville Underground for our friendship and for showing us just what we can accomplish, all the while working on our own art and watching our own careers flourish. It has been truly amazing.

Thanks to the building owners, Ted and Leslie Belden for letting a dream grow and flourish for as long as it did in that beautiful space. Thanks to the art lovers and patrons for their support and encouragement, smiles and purchases. 

What I know is that I am an independent business owner as an artist and I will continue to make my art and I will continue to share it and all the art I love with the community that surrounds me. 

Friday, October 7, 2011


 The closing of eyes, mixed media on canvas 12x12"
© 2011 Megan Chapman $250

What a week! My exhibition, Sometimes I love you and other stories came down last Saturday. Then rather than feeling too sad about it, I quickly changed gears and helped artist Stewart Bremner fix up his new studio space at the Underground. It was quite amazing to see all the work he has managed to do while he has been visiting. You can read more about that at his blog- he has lots of exciting news to share as well!

Then there was a whirl wind trip down to Hot Springs, Arkansas (ranked number 4 small arts community in America) just to get away, look at some art, and check in with the Blue Moon Gallery. I have been represented by the Blue Moon since 2004. They were one the first larger commercial galleries that accepted my work and for that I will always be grateful. Sadly, I have been so busy at the Fayetteville Underground that I haven't gone down there as often as I should. It was lovely to see everyone and I was thrilled when they offered me a solo exhibition in December! That is right around the corner! I look forward to sharing some of my Falling into sound works with them and perhaps a few new pieces... we will see!

In other exhibition news, I was also offered an exhibition at the Northwest Arkansas Community College in Bentonville, Arkansas. This exhibition will be a two months in March and April. So I have things to do and soon!

I still don't know what I am supposed to paint next, and I probably won't know for a while. I am trying not to let that bother me and just focus on submitting my work to galleries across the country and work on getting more exhibitions scheduled. I am also quite busy with the Underground., as many of my readers know we have to find a new home soon, as we must be out by Janurary 15th. I will miss my studio and our beautiful galleries. I have learned so much and worked with so many talented people at the Underground. It really is a thrill and it is so exciting to see all the opportunities that have opened up for all the artists who have worked here over the years.

I think that is all I have for you this week, until next week keep fighting!

PS. Have you checked out my new website? Have you liked me on facebook? 

Thank you.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

What comes next?

 Diving within © Megan Chapman 2011 
mixed media on canvas 30x40" $1,350

A month has come and gone and as I write this, my exhibition Sometimes I love you and other stories will close tomorrow at 5pm. It is always a strange feeling when a show comes to a close. A slight sense of loss or sadness hovers around me. Don't get me wrong, I am extremely happy and pleased at the response my exhibition has received and the sales were fantastic as well. Taking down the show will take mere minutes yet preparing for the show and installing it takes months and hours. The pieces that have sold will be wrapped up and off to find their new homes while the other ones will go back to my studio and wait for another opportunity to be seen.

What will I paint next? What will the next series be? Where will my work be shown next? These questions flood my brain. I will experience the post show blues and lull. Truthfully, I probably have been experiencing that for a while already- it's no big deal, the more shows I have, the more comfortable and accepting of this phase of the process I have become.

Will I work on paper again? Re-stock my etsy shop? Start making works for the Underground Christmas sale? Cull more of my older color work for another super sale? I just don't know. I will try to take good care of myself, watch films, listen to music, take photographs, write, and know that all the while I am doing that, I am replenishing the well of inspiration. The next series will come forward organically over time and I will be ready when it does.

Thanks to all my dear friends near and far, my family, my teachers, my lovely patrons and supporters, and especially Stewart for his love and support. Sometimes I love you and other stories,  was a challenging and exciting series for me and I am so glad I was able to share it with such lovely people.

In other news, my website had a complete redesign! Please visit my new site and share it with your friends. Click on the image below.

Until next week, keep fighting. The worlds needs your art.