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Megan Read

Artist Statement

"At the most basic level, the tensions, contradictions, and complexities of simply existing here, now… often seem too big, too dissonant, and too dreamlike for me to grasp. My attempts to paint them are my way to find an order in things and often lead to these aspirational portraits of multiple selves. Subjective snapshots, reflecting the inside out."


Megan Elizabeth Read (b. 1982) is an American figurative artist living and working in Charlottesville, Virginia. Largely self-taught, she now works almost exclusively in oil with pieces ranging from small still life to large scale paintings mostly focusing on the female form. Mae grew up in rural Virginia where she spent most of her time exploring the fields and farmland around her home or drawing for hours on end, both of which were clearly formative. After living in Los Angeles in her early 20’s she returned to Virginia and after many years working in the tech field she finally began making space for drawing and painting again and this has since become her sole focus.

Since Mae began focusing on painting in 2017 her work has been exhibited internationally with galleries and museums including the European Museum of Modern Art (MEAM) in Barcelona, Spain, the Wausau Museum of Contemporary Art, WI, and Arcadia Contemporary, NYC. Her work is held in a number of collections, including The Bennett Collection of Women Realists and the permanent collection at the New Salem Museum, has been included in numerous publications, and has received a number of awards including 1st place for Imaginative Realism at the 2019 International Art Renewal Center Salon and Director’s Choice at the 2020 International Guild of Realism Juried Exhibition.