A couple of days ago, we brought you an artist spotlight on Richard Ross. Richard is simply, a Kettle icon. His work is well known throughout Deep Ellum & the greater Dallas community.

Today we travel to the other end of the spectrum and bring you a Kettle newcomer, Aralyn McGregor.

She may be a newcomer to Kettle, but make no mistake; her work is first class. It is refined. It is layered. It is beautiful.

Doubt us? Visit her website (www.aralynmcgregor.com) to see each panel of her mural up-close & personal! Each panel is gorgeous. Period.

George Fowler should be high-fived many times over for introducing us to her wonderful paintings. (Seriously, he did a great job curating this exhibit!)

So without further delay, Kettle is proud to bring you this virtual sit down with Aralyn McGregor.

Enjoy …


Aralyn McGregor

Kettle – Please tell us a little about yourself (give a brief bio).
Aralyn – The arts are a central binding thread in my family; they inspired the growth of my passion, career, and pursuit of art. I studied at the University of North Texas, and during my senior year interned with the Cedars Art Gallery. I have shown my work in three collaborative exhibitions at the Cedars, and also exhibited my first solo show there in 2009. Upon completion of my BFA in Studio Art in 2009, I immediately began teaching art at Williams Preparatory. Teaching at both the middle school and high school level, I had the honor in establishing the first AP Studio Art program for the Dallas charter school. Teaching and bonding with the students was truly an unforgettable experience. However, the limited hours of focusing on my own pursuit of painting posed an incessant internal conflict, and I have since left teaching in order to focus on my love affair with painting and the creation of art. I am thrilled to be participating in Fractal Logic; my first professional show since I began teaching, and I look forward to delving back into the Dallas art community as a full-time artist.
 Kettle – When did you first discover your creative side & how long have you been pursuing the creative life?
Aralyn – As I mentioned, my family is founded upon creativity. My brother, dad and I recorded music together, my sister and I share photography, my mother and I both sing and create art. My extended family puts on elaborate themed parties with planning and production starting sometimes a year in advance, which remains a fantastic support for inspiration. Creativity in action was a core element in my upbringing, and continues to be a central force in the structuring of my own journey.  
Kettle – Do you have formal training, or are you self taught?
Aralyn – While at UNT, I modeled for figure drawing classes throughout Dallas. It was a wonderful invitation into artists’ studios to watch them work. I’ve learned much from working at figure painting workshops as well as with individual artists. I’ve always been drawn towards figurative art, and having the opportunity to collaborate with such a variety of artists has certainly influenced my work. 
Kettle – Could you please describe your latest body of work?
Aralyn – I’m fascinated by the malleability of memory. Every time you recall a memory, you are reshaping it in light of new experiences. The most fictional memories tend to be those most often reflected upon; those memories that nourish our identity and sense of self. I wanted to create a series of works exploring this concept.  The mural is composed of representational images that have been distorted, altered, and layered, some even to the point of abstraction. Images of fields, leaves, an empty street, and a girl are repeated throughout the work, but nothing substantial or conclusive can be extracted. With the intent of the viewer returning to it again and again, I hope that some new element would be revealed, providing resolution. I wanted the viewer to feel almost uncomfortable by not fully grasping a narrative. 
Kettle – Why did you settle on this particular medium & style?
Aralyn – I love working with oil paint, as it allows me to experiment with effects, shedding new light on a traditional medium. In this series, oil allowed for the layering and distortions that represent my experience of memory. 
Kettle – Where did you find the inspiration for your most recent work?
Aralyn – I find there are certain images and symbols that repeatedly appear in my work. I can connect some of these to memories, and I am still trying to figure out the source of others. If I revisit them and recreate them in enough paintings and drawings, perhaps they’ll reveal themselves in time.

 I can’t say I sit down at the easel to build upon a mission or central idea; it’s really more of a reduction process. At this point, I’m still very interested in exploring a variety of themes and ideas, and I love working with all sorts of 2-D media. The more work I produce, the more apparent these repeated images and ideas are.

Kettle – “Fractal Logic” is a bit different than what most people experience with a traditional group show being that each piece was part of a larger whole. How did that affect the way you approached your work? Did you find it to be more challenging, or did you find that it gave you more creative license?

Aralyn – I found this format to be the perfect balance of creativity and challenge. Too many boundaries challenges creative, individual expression; but too much freedom is just as difficult. Creativity thrives when there’s a problem to solve.

Kettle – What most intrigues you about your latest show at Kettle Art? Why?

Aralyn – George did a beautiful job assembling this group of artists for the show. We all presented our own diverse solution to the mural challenge. The work was consistent in quality and I am glad to have been grouped with such great artists. 

Kettle – Have you shown at Kettle Art in the past? When? What shows?

AralynThis is my first show at Kettle, and hope to work with Kettle again one day.

Kettle – What do you want viewers to take away from your work at this show?

Aralyn – I welcome and encourage personal, original interpretations of my work. As I stated earlier, I’m hoping viewers will want to return to this series again and again, gaining something new with each visit.

Kettle – What’s next for you creatively? Where can one see more of your work?

Aralyn – Right now I’m working on a variety of commissions, and I’m looking forward to participating in La Reunion’s Art Chicas program in the fall. I’m teaching a watercolor course at Make and Made Studio in the Bishop Arts District as well.

“Fractal Logic” wraps up this week at Kettle Art in Deep Ellum. Get down & see it soon. 

Next up is a large group show full of new faces & quite a few you already know and love. It is to be curated by Clint Scism. Please come by and check out the opening on August 18th. As always, you won’t be disappointed. Seriously!