I had the privilege of attending the “Love, or something better” artist reception at Hagerstown’s Engine Room Art Space. The show featured works from two Frederick artists: Ash Cheshire and Jillian Abir MacMaster. Below you’ll find a description, where/when you can see it and a Q+A with Jillian Abir MacMaster.
Here’s a description of the show from a card I picked up to give you an idea of what to expect: : “Love, or something better explores the complexity of human connection and self-reflection on queer relationships, sexuality and identity.”
The show is free and runs till July 28th, so make sure to stop by.
Gallery hours: Thursday (2-7 PM), Friday (9 AM-12:30 PM), Saturday (11 AM- 4 PM, 6:30-8 PM) and Sunday (12-5 PM)
Q+A with Jillian Abir MacMaster
Q: How long have you been making art?
A: It’s hard to answer this one. I can pinpoint my interest in art beginning when I was 15, but I began making, selling, and exhibiting artwork more “professionally” when I was in college. That is when I came into my personal styles and methods. I say it’s hard to answer because I’ve been making all sorts of art for so long, but it’s hard to pick a spot in the timeline to say, “THIS is the day that I began making the art I claim.” But for a numerical answer, I’d say about 7 years.
Q: Where do you draw inspiration for your pieces?
A: For my abstract scan work, I’m inspired by the fact that the way the piece looks is left completely up to chance. It thrills me to not know what will appear on my screen after scanning my materials. I make hundreds of scans and each one is completely different from the last. For this particular series, I was influenced by my navigation through an intense and grueling emotional experience regarding love from the past two years. So I’ve taken these images of women and digitally manipulated them to describe my inner dialogue. I am not a very emotionally vulnerable person, so this type of expression was something new for me.
Q: How would you describe your art style?
A: My scan work is abstract, colorful, chaotic, expanding, flowy, and cautiously messy. It’s literally unpredictable. It is completely different from my photography work, and it’s nice to have that sort of balance in my life.