I’m from Memphis, and I’ve lived here most of my life. Like most people’s relationship with their hometown, it’s had its ups and downs. But for better or worse, I’m in it for the long haul.
Over the years, I’ve made some bad art and I’ve made some great art. And the city has supported me every step of the way. There is the University of Memphis, where I finished my painting degree and who’s professors still shoot me emails and show up at my openings. Memphis College of Art, where I completed my graduate education, and really learned what it takes to be an artist. The Memphis Fashion Design Network, which allowed me to flex my fashion design skills, which ultimately led me to working with pattern. Advance Memphis, who showed me that art could change people’s lives in a very real and tangible way. This list could go on and on.
I used to think that to be a great artist, I needed to get out of Memphis. I thought there was nothing for me here. But the older I get, the more I realize that without Memphis, I don’t know if I’d make art at all. Cuz it’s Memphis. We grind here.
Memphis loves and supports the arts, so I’m growing where I’m planted and trusting the process.
Meredith Olinger is an artist living and working in Memphis, TN. Olinger works
primarily with wallpaper of her own design. Her work deals with the dependence of art and design on each other, handmade versus digital production, and blurs the line between painting and installation. Olinger has been included in many group shows, including Public/Art/ists I and II, and the 2016 Best of Memphis exhibition. Olinger holds a Masters of Fine Arts from Memphis College of Art.