L-R: Meghan Reike, Kathleen Dunne, and Julie Malone. Courtesy of facebook.com/SOHA.Gallery
Photograph by Mark Regester
SOHA Studio + Gallery recognizes a milestone this Friday, May 29 with Julie Malone and Friends: SOHA Celebrates 4 Years, a group exhibit filled with work by SOHA alums. But the exhibit also includes a worthy new addition: painter Megan Rieke.
Rieke, the mother of three boys, began her serious interest in painting almost by accident. Although she minored in Fine Arts at Webster, she says that it was not until after her first son, now 12, was born that she decided to get her associate degree in studio art. And what led her to this decision? The fact that at the time, Meramec Community College offered child care for around $2 an hour for students enrolled at the college.
Rieke, who paints from photographs, describes her work as “realistic impressionism,” and notes that the colors she is using right now are rich and complex.
“I’m in an abstract phase now, wherein the colors and composition weigh more heavily in the overall theme of each piece,” Rieke says. “If my paintings were a musical score, they would be the most cacophonous compositions until the final measure when it ends in perfect harmony.”
After choosing a photograph, she squints at it until she constructs a mental image of how she would like to proceed. Sometimes she gets it head on, while sometimes she ends up with an entire platform of white—forcing her to start over.
“It’s not perfect, it’s flat and it’s messy with visible brush strokes,” Rieke says. “I like to see a struggle. In my work struggle is the protagonist.”
Struggle is a key element in Rieke’s work, and it is exactly what she’s bringing. Rieke, member of PK204, an all-women mural company, is now joining her friends, Kathleen Dunne and founder Julie Malone at SOHA, a women-run gallery.
“This exhibit is especially exciting for me because it’s my first show as a part of the SOHA team,” Rieke says.
SOHA aims to advance visual arts as a conversation in which everyone participates.
“We differ from other galleries by creating a warm and inviting atmosphere,” Dunne says.
In addition to Rieke’s paintings, Friday’s show will feature new work by SOHA’s owner and founder, Julie Malone, along with art by Tim Meehan, Theresa Hopkins, Peter Manion, Joe Neaf, Jeff Brawn, Tiffany Johnson Cade, Brian Lathan, Tom Dykas, John Cooper, April Morrison, Mark Regester and Julie's daughters Sophie and Gwenna.
Julie Malone and Friends opens Friday, May 29, with a reception from 6 to 10 p.m.; the show runs through June 6. SOHA Studio and Gallery is located at 4915 Macklind. For more information, go to sohastudioandgallery.com.