Meghan Aslin (12) showcases collection of collages at EIGHTEEN


Photo Courtesy of Hutchison's Lillie Hollabaugh (12)

Upper school English teacher Mrs. Ray and her husband view Meghan Aslin’s collage exhibit.

Hita Mohan, Staff Editor

On Saturday, Jan. 22, Meghan Aslin (12) displayed her collection of six collages in art show EIGHTEEN at Arrow Creative in Midtown. Several members of SMS student body and faculty, including Upper School English teacher Mrs. Ray, joined around 200 people to support Aslin and her fellow artists.

The show is themed around the experience of growing up and is centered on exhibiting the works of 10 high-school seniors from across Memphis high schools. Aslin was first approached by Hutchison’s Camille Mattingly (12) through an Instagram DM earlier that summer.

“When I first said I was interested, I thought the project was entirely theoretical. I had been collaging for a few years, but most of it remained private in sketchbooks or journals. I hadn’t created anything that I wanted to share. I actually never shared my work with anyone before.”

However, in October, Aslin received a heads up that the project was a go.

Aslin said, “The common theme in my collection is displacement. The show’s about growing up, and throughout my adolescence, I have always felt some sort of sense of displacement – not necessarily negative – in any environment that I have been in.”

There were many mediums utilized by EIGHTEEN’s artists, ranging from live piano performances to woven art, but, to Aslin, collages were the best way for her to express herself.

“You see, to me, art does not always have a deeper meaning behind it, and I think I explored that,” said Aslin.

Through these collages, she was able to explore in various satirical manners concepts like the effects of properly representing queerness in the media and socioeconomic disparities. “It’s funny to look at. Viewers can either divulge into the larger concept at play, or you can just appreciate it at face value.”

As for why Aslin finally decided to share her work with others, she said, “I never considered myself an artist, and I still don’t. I was just at the point where I was mature enough to soften my personal issues to express them in a healthy way to myself and others.”

When asked to share advice to young artists navigating the space between privacy and vulnerability, Aslin said, “If you are comfortable sharing something, the world is your oyster. What you have to say absolutely needs to be said. There is skill in wrestling with concepts and learning how to depict them in more palatable ways. I can’t expect others to have an experience I’ve had, but I can [help them] see my experience.”

EIGHTEEN will continue being presented in Arrow Creative’s gallery until Feb. 26 for those who missed the opening.