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Megan Perkins: Artist, Teacher, and Creative Visionary

It’s often said that art has the power to transcend time and place, connecting us with the artists of the past while inspiring new creations in the present. For Megan Perkins, this sentiment rings especially true. 

Megan’s artistic journey, which began with childhood paintings and sketches, took a dynamic turn when she studied abroad in the heart of Florence, Italy. This experience exposed her to the rich tapestry of art history, instilling a deep appreciation for the masters of the past.

Yet Megan’s artistic voyage didn’t end in the Renaissance city. Instead, it brought her back to the Inland Northwest, where she has cultivated her own unique artistic identity. From early memories of easel fingerpainting at school to her tireless desire to capture the world around her, Megan’s artistic spirit has remained unwavering. 

From her artistic exhibitions to her teaching, Megan is nurturing creativity in others and helping shape our community. Megan exemplifies what it means to live, work, and play in the Northwest, and she’s making our region better through her creativity and instruction. 

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Nurturing a Talent for Art Since the Beginning

Megan Perkins is a name that’s become synonymous with artistic excellence and a dedication to nurturing creativity in others. A multifaceted artist and a passionate teacher, Megan’s journey in the world of art has been nothing short of inspiring. 

Megan knew from an early age that art would always be a part of her life. In a podcast interview with Trending Northwest, Megan shared, “When I was very, very small, I always loved art. I came back from preschool with a report card saying ‘we appreciate Megan’s complete use of paper’ because whenever the easel was out, I would fill it from one edge to the other with finger painting… I’ve been a drawer and a painter my whole life.”

Megan would go on to study art in one of the most beautiful places in the world, a location that has drawn artists worldwide for hundreds of years: Florence, Italy. Megan had the opportunity to study abroad in Florence while at Gonzaga, and she made the most of her time there. As she describes, “I’ve been to about 35 countries. I would land in a new location, and draw and paint as soon as I arrived. I drew and painted everything I saw while I was there.”

Returning to the United States, Megan kept up the pace of noticing the world around her and continued to paint and sketch everything she saw, from corn mazes to baseball stadiums and much more. 

Teaching: Sharing the Joy of Art

Megan’s passion for art extends beyond her creations; it encompasses her role as an educator. She conducts classes at the Corbin Arts Center, Spokane Art School, and the MAC (Northwest Museum of Arts and Culture) throughout the year, offering budding artists an opportunity to explore their creativity. Her classes cater to various skill levels, from beginners to those with some prior experience in mediums like watercolor.

One of Megan’s recent teaching ventures was at the Pavilion, where she curated a display wall and organized “Art in the Park.” This innovative approach not only allowed her to share her knowledge but also provided a platform for artists to showcase their work. It’s a testament to her commitment to fostering a vibrant artistic community.

Megan’s teaching philosophy centers around the idea that art should be a journey, not just a destination. Her classes emphasize the joy of creating, whether or not the end result is intended for public display or commercial gain. She encourages her students to embrace the process, relish the act of creation, and find fulfillment in their artistic endeavors.

From sketchbook classes that tell personal stories to the freedom of making art without the pressure of showcasing it, Megan’s approach celebrates the diverse ways art can enrich our lives. It’s about capturing moments, emotions, and memories through creative expression.

But where does Megan find inspiration? Art is all around us, but Megan, in particular, finds two contemporary artists inspire her, “I really admire the work of Uma Kelkar, who paints these really strong, beautiful watercolor paintings. I also admire the work of James Gurney [best known for his illustrated book series Dinotopia] because he paints on location. He takes mundane things, like parking lots, and makes these amazing, really interesting paintings out of them.” Megan also appreciates how Gurney will make up magical or sci-fi elements to include in his plein air paintings, like a painting he did of a lake that included a swamp monster component. 

When it comes to her own inspiration, the biggest challenge Megan encounters is finding the time to do it all, stating that people regularly share interesting places all around Spokane. As Megan states, “In many cases, I don’t even have to go out” and find things to paint or draw. “People will ask me, ‘well, have you painted this spot?’ and this is a message that, hey, you should paint this! Spokane keeps changing and adding new things,” so it’s not hard to find things to paint or draw. 

Upcoming Exhibitions: A Glimpse into Megan’s Artistry

One of the highlights of Megan’s artistic journey is her feature on PBS’s “Northwest Profiles,” set to premiere in the coming winter. This recognition is a testament to her talent and contributions to the art scene.

Another exciting event is the prestigious invitation Megan received to the Watercolor Invitational Show at the Gonzaga Art Center, running from October to December. This show holds a special place in Megan’s heart, as she was invited and honored by her alma mater, which allowed her to go to Florence in the first place. While visitors can admire her work, there’s even the possibility of acquiring a piece for your collection.

You can also see Megan along with other artists at Terrain in January, showcasing rural countryside themes. You can also find her work at the From Here store or Pottery Place Plus. The best way to find out about upcoming events and classes with Megan? Megan’s website, MeganPerkinsArt.com, where you can sign up for her newsletter, view her calendar, and request commissions. 

A Vision for the Future

Megan’s artistic journey is far from over. She dreams of taking her teaching international, envisioning workshops in picturesque locations like Provence or the San Juan Islands. Her goal is to connect with venues and organizations that share her passion for art education, fostering creativity on a global scale.

As part of her ongoing journey, Megan attended Sketcher Fest, the first U.S.-based sketchbook festival. Urban Sketchers, an organization founded in Seattle, hosted this event, bringing together artists to share their sketchbooks, techniques, and camaraderie. Megan aspires to participate in similar events, expanding her horizons in the art world.

Megan Perkins is not just an artist and teacher; she’s a creative visionary on a mission to inspire, educate, and connect artists on a local and global scale. Her journey is a testament to the power of art to enrich lives, tell stories, and build vibrant communities. As she continues to create, teach, and dream, Megan’s impact on the art world is bound to grow, leaving a legacy of creativity and connection in her wake.

Melissa Berry, Director of Web Content

Melissa has lived in the Pacific Northwest for eight years, primarily in Spokane, Washington. Born in Phoenix, Arizona, Melissa also lived in Denver, Colorado for two years. A freelance travel writer and podcaster, Melissa co-hosts the popular and award-winning podcast, Trending Northwest. Melissa has been featured in Redfin, Spokane Coeur d’Alene Living magazine, Spokane Talks, and the Inlander. A proud Gonzaga graduate, she always gets her hopes up come NCAA tournament time. You can follow her on Instagram at trendingspokane.

read all of melissa’s articles here.

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