Spotlight on the Flatfiles: Meridith McNeal

A Portrait of My Mother
January 4 – February 10, 2019
Opening Reception
January 4, 2019

exhibition Images


A Portrait of My Mother, installation view

Magical Things from My Mother's House: Willow Ware Bowl, 2018, watercolor on paper, 12" x 12"

Magical Things From My Mother's House: Trumpet Lamp, 2018, watercolor on paper, 12 x 12"

Magical Things From My Mother’s House: Tell Me How Long The Train’s Been Gone, 2018, watercolor on paper, 12x12"

Magical Things From My Mother’s House: Spoons, 2018, watercolor on paper, 12x12"

Magical Things from My Mother's House: Etched Wine Glass, 2018, watercolor on paper, 12" x 12"

Magical Things From My Mother’s House: Pencil Sharpener, 2018, watercolor on paper, 12x12,

Triple Roman Windows, 2017, ink and watercolor on paper, 75" x 55"

Inside/Outside: London (Violins), 2017, ink and watercolor on paper, 41x55"

Inside / Outside: Music Series, 2017, ink and watercolor on paper, 36" x 48"

Inside/Outside: London Windowphilia (Records), 2017, ink and watercolor on paper, 53x78"

Inside / Outside: Private (Red Hook, Brooklyn), 2017, ink and watercolor on paper, 28" x 28"

Inside / Outside: Eye (Red Hook, Brooklyn), 2017, ink and watercolor on paper, 28" x 28"

Inside / Outside: Garden Door (Rome), 2015, ink and watercolor on paper, 73" x 31"

Inside / Outside: Djembre, 2016, ink and watercolor on paper, 74" x 33"

Press and Promotion

Exhibition checklist / click for 2 page list

Press Release

About the exhibition

Meridith McNeal, A Portrait of My Mother

Opening Reception: Friday, January 4, 6-8pm

Artist's Statement:

Mother sets the stage for us.  She encourages, pesters, creates opportunities and provides the space in which we become ourselves. Once our mother is gone her objects and her space become something more than mere objects. Look carefully, they have become Magical Things.

Magical Things, my ongoing series of watercolors, venerate the easily overlooked objects of everyday life: paperback novels, a thermos, a pencil sharpener.  Mundane objects become totems, Milagros—charms of mindfulness, imbued with a power greater than the sum of their parts.  Several months ago, after my mother died, I began a trajectory of this work.

Included in A Portrait of My Mother are portraits of objects that belonged to my mother, Brenda McNeal.  Most are depicted in my own Brooklyn home; in their new surroundings they become both memorial and useful objects. 

Also on view are larger Windowphilia pieces, the last of my artwork which I discussed with my mother.  Inside/Outside: London (Violins), spurred her to reminisce about the music store in Fall River, MA which she frequented with her grandfather. When Bren looked at Inside/Outside: London Windowphilia (Records) she recalled with humor my nursery school days in London when I related after school with consternation: “Mommy, they don’t have records here.  They have reCORDs.”

During this exhibition we will hold a Sunday Soiree, a pot-luck feast amongst the art to honor my mother’s tradition of gathering friends for witty, intelligent, art-filled fierce conversation over good food.   Join me and you too will become part of the magic.

Meridith McNeal is a Brooklyn-based artist, educator, curator, arts administrator and hula hooper.  Meridith has been a frequent Visiting Artist at the American Academy in Rome.   Her work is represented by Figureworks Gallery in Brooklyn, New York.

In 2017 Meridith presented three solo exhibitions Inside/Outside Windowphilia, Figureworks, Brooklyn, NY, The View from Here at FiveMyles Gallery in Brooklyn, NY and In Reflection, Torre Truglia, Sperlonga, Italy.   Also in 2017 Meridith represented Sperlonga Italy in the renown Fabriano Paper Festival.  Her recent curatorial efforts include In Our Nature, Corridor Gallery, Brooklyn, NY; Natural Causes, 107 Bowers Gallery & Art Space, Jersey City, NJ and Good Natured, St. Joseph’s College Gallery, Brooklyn, NY.  She is on the artist advisory board of Kentler International Drawing Space and has served on the Artist Committee of Coney Island Museum; and the Curatorial Committee of the Brooklyn Public Library. 

The first in our series to spotlight artists with works in the Kentler Flatfiles, on view in our front gallery space.

The Kentler Flatfiles have been an essential element of the gallery since its founding in 1990. A compendium of over 2,000 works on paper by 260 local, national and international artists, this living archive represents the incredible breadth and variety of contemporary drawings, prints & works on paper. The Flatfiles are available for viewing and purchase by the public. Seventy-five percent of each sale goes directly to the artist with twenty-five percent supporting Kentler’s nonprofit mission.
The Flatfiles are an important resource for artists, collectors, curators, and all those interested in the field of drawing. In 2015, Kentler received a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts to create the Kentler Flatfiles Digital Archive, a custom database and website offering expanded public access to the collection. Selections from the Flatfiles are regularly presented in guest-curated exhibitions at Kentler and in traveling shows. Our ongoing Focus on the Flatfiles showcases rotating artworks from the collection in response to solo exhibitions at the Kentler.