Professor spotlight: Meghan O’ Connor

O’Connor’s high school experience helped find her career

Kaitylnn Breeden, Staff Writer

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Meghan O’Connor’s passion for printmaking is undoubtedly one of the most obvious things about her. The way O’Connor vividly talks about art can spread sunshine across any dark room.
O’Connor grew up in Bristol, TN where her love for art started.

“I grew up drawing with my grandfather, when I was a kid he would send me these cards in the mail. Every time he would send us a card he would do a little drawing on the outside of the envelope,” O’Connor said. “I was always more excited about the drawings on the outside of the envelope than the card itself.”

Originally, O’Connor planned on pursuing a major in math and science. Her senior year of high school, she decided to drop her AP Calculus class to take an art class instead. Her Vice Principle pulled her into his office and told her that she had to take Calculus and that she was going to go to college at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

The negative experience about her wanting to take an art class instead of Calculus is what solidified to her that art is what she’s most passionate about.

“At a young age I learned to value drawing and value art making. When I got into college is when I found printmaking and sort of fell in love with it,” O’Connor said.

She received her B.F.A in printmaking and drawing from East Tennessee State University in 2003. O’Connor went on to get her M.F.A. from Clemson University in printmaking in 2007.

As well as her grandfather, O’Connor is also influenced by other artists and colleagues.

“In addition to that I have so many colleagues who are printmakers that I meet going to conferences,” O’Connor said. “People that are living artists that have been doing this for 20 or 30 years longer than I have. It is [a really cool opportunity] to get out there and interact with other artists.”

Aside from printmaking and drawing, O’Connor is very interested in digital art as well.

“I really like combining traditional handmade elements with digital technical stuff. I usually laser engrave paper stencils to make a print, and stuff like that,” O’Connor said. “I like the conversation that older technologies have with new technology.”

Besides teaching printmaking, drawing, digital imaging, mixed media, she also has her own work showing in many different exhibits. O’Connor has her work showing around the United States, but also in other countries including Ireland, Buenos Aires, and Australia. Her art can be viewed online at www.curLymeg88.com.

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