Denver Visiting Artist -Megan McGrain

Megan McGrain

Visiting Artist Denver


Lawrence Argent

In the visiting artist series in Denver, I attended the lecture by Lawrence Argent. He began his lecture with a brief introduction of his early works. He showed us his work of motor oil and ivory soap, showing us his interest in contrasts of smells and the elements. He showed us that his works are sometimes involved with contradictions. He also showed us, “cahonas” and “waiting”, both pieces that came to be after his passion of collecting found items and using them to create pieces with other meanings.

Lawrence’s first major public art piece was at the University of Denver, here in Colorado as he is a professor there. The piece consists of four benches slowly emanating sound as you come and sit on them. The sounds you hear come from different lectures from different classrooms in the university. The lectures you hear are ones you might not hear otherwise. The benches all have a pair of lips as reference to dialogue between one and other, as well as the benches themselves.

Next, Lawrence showed us his piece in Fort Collins, a piece in landscape architecture. Water from each piece jumps into the next piece from computerized water spouts. He explained to us that children now play on this piece, and it was not always accepted as an art form.

Perhaps Lawrence’s most well known piece, “I see what you mean”, is the iconic blue bear in Denver. The bear is up on its hind legs looking into the Denver convention center. Standing at 40 feet tall, this bright blue bear is symbolism for the state of Colorado, and made primarily for tourists to the state.


Lawrence also has had his public works displayed in Vail, Colorado. He came up with the ideas for two pieces, one bronze and the other molecule/ bubble piece. The bronze piece is lit from the inside with fire, and was made from molds and pouring the bronze. The other molecule piece, resembling bubbles or foam, was intended to represent the nature of water in Vail. The piece slowly changes colors from the design of LED lights on the inside.



At the university of Houston in Texas, there is another one of his works. This piece was inspired by the gourd. He chose this because he believes it is an internationally known physical object. The piece is called “Your Move”, because the finished pieces resemble giant game playing pieces. The gourds were made out of solid stones and were carved into and painted. Somehow they are supposed to resound modes of education, but I personally feel like this goal of his does not hold water.

Lastly he showed his work from the San Francisco airport. He incorporated ideas of luggage and objects and baggage for this piece. The rabbit was used because of familiarity and its connections to storytelling and the viewer. The massive red rabbit is suspended from the celling and is jumping down into the suitcase at the baggage claim level at the airport.

Visiting Artist-MeganM

Megan McGrain


Visiting Artist

Janine Antioni

Janine Antioni is a modern day artist with powerful work that provokes the viewer, her use of different mediums and grotesque methods really pushes her work ahead of many artists today. Janine’s work always has intention and heartfelt connections with her past experiences with relationships with her mother, or with objects themselves.  Continue reading

Exhibition Paper-Megan McGrain

Megan McGrain

Exhibition Paper: Garry Winogrand

Denver Art Museum


“Women are Beautiful” 

“I photograph to find out what something looks like photographed” said Garry Winogrand. Garry is an American artist that was born in 1928 and died in 1984, and he uses his experimentations with photography to challenge the viewer to experience reality in different lights. Garry uses photography to celebrate ordinary life and people in his works, and began doing exhibitions in the 1980s. Garry had always been intrigued by photography but began his art career in painting.  Continue reading

Visiting Artist 2.7.12-MeganMcgrain

Arlene Shechet Visiting Artist 2.7.12

Beginning in the early 1990s, Arlene was greatly influenced by the Buddhist culture.  Arlene began working on her pieces from a Buddhist framework based on iconic imagery. She explained to the crowd that “death was something that was not addressed”. This had greatly impacted her work at this time, from the death of her friend and also the birth of her children, Arlene was very aware and acknowledging these life changing moments. Her work was to reflect these thoughts and interpretations of time, by using simplistic materials and the familiar imagery from the East.  Continue reading

Megan-Clyfford Still Paper

Megan McGrain

ARTH 3539


Clyfford Still

Clyfford Still was one of the first generation painters to greatly influence abstract expressionism, a movement that came promptly after the second world war. This movement, which is now called “Abstract Expressionism”, is a demonstrative and abstract form of painting that the world had not seen before. Still, was of this generation of painters striving for a new wave of art, one that would separate itself from the dreary past of the 1930s and 1940s, and from the art of its European neighbors. Continue reading

Megan’s Intellectual Profile

1. Give some basic information about your studies and fields of interest.

My name is Megan McGrain, and I am a studio arts major. I work mainly with ceramics, drawing, clothing, and some 3D materials in the grotesque art. I am taking contemporary art to develop a further understanding of the world of art today, and to know what to expect of this field that I am working in. I am very interested in the art world in regard to design, fashion, and modern artwork. I hope to further my career of creating and designing and also teaching in the future.  Continue reading

Megan’s Paragraph

We begin by looking at the question, “What is Contemporary Art?”, which has varied meanings to audiences through the decades. Contemporary art has a relationship with its viewers, media, galleries, and the past. The ideals of contemporary art are constantly being challenged and changed. The art we know today is associated in many ways with the economy, art is a commodity to be bought and sold. Art is a reflection of the media and the expectations of its viewers and publicity. The shock and awe of art is obtained just for the sake of attention and recognition, the making of a celebrity out of the artist.

Continue reading