Cage Match Project, Round XV: Overgrown by Rachel Means
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Round 15: Overgrown by mixed media artist Rachel Means is an attempt to confront and get beyond the cage. Rachel approaches the cage with natural and wire-formed plant life to have the appearance of “overgrowing” the cage while entanglement and connection also occur.
Rachel shares, “there are too many ways that the experience of being and/or feeling bound can overwhelm us. The cage can represent those experiences. By creating in response and from within this literal cage, I wonder, from a more emotional/psychological perspective, can I get beyond the cage? How will the cage transform? Will the cage disappear? Can I let go of the cage?”
While she creates from her own perspective, she invites us to reflect on our own cages or the cages we experience in the world and question their presence in our lives. She also reminds us of the understanding, process, connection, beauty, and hope within and beyond the cages we experience.
Through drawing, painting, sculpture, and installation, Rachel Means (https://www.rachelsreflections2014.com/) reconsiders and reflects on the intersections between the relational and internal. She brings attention to the seen and unseen of Christian faith as well as captures the beauty and decay of nature. Her artistic process gives space to nuance and subtle gestures through tactility, abstraction, and material experimentation.
She received her MFA from the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. She has exhibited work in numerous places including Davidson College, Davidson, NC; Hillsborough Community College, Tampa, FL; Glazer Children’s Museum, Tampa, FL; InLiquid Crane Arts Hall Gallery, Philadelphia, PA; and 1969 Gallery, New York City, NY. In 2019, she was invited to be a Visiting Artist at the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor in Belton, TX and, in the beginning of 2020, she participated in the Carrizozo Artist-in-Residence program in Carrizozo, New Mexico. She recently released a virtual experience of her solo pop-up art exhibition titled Stillness, What Lies Beneath in Austin, TX.
Cage Match Project (CMP) is a temporary, site-specific art installation series in which selected artists are invited to engage a large, industrial caged-trailer. Measured at 20 ft x 8 ft x 7 ft , the weathered and rusted container resides in the exterior lot of The Museum of Human Achievement in Austin, TX where it is under constant exposure to the elements and 24-hour public viewership. CMP is curated by Ariel René Jackson.