Artist’s NameMaggie Perrin-Key
Address528 Woods Avenue Southwest
Apt C
Roanoke 24016
United States
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Instagram Handle (if any)@Maggieperrinkey
Website (if any)
Tell us about you, the artist. Please include a few sentences of biographical information.

Maggie Perrin-Key is an artist based in Roanoke, Virginia. She received her B.A. in Studio Art from Hollins University in 2017, and has been showing her work regionally since her graduation. Perrin-Key’s work has been on view in solo exhibitions at the Eleanor D. Wilson Museum and Alexander/Heath Contemporary. She is also a muralist, completing private and public murals in the region, and has been the recipient of the Art in Place grant for public art installation.
As part of her community work, Perrin-Key teaches art classes and hosts workshops in her studio.

Please describe your artistic practice including the media you work in and your approach to your art.

Working across mediums, Perrin-Key explores abstract elements of our physical world in an effort to tap into the activity that happens on the energetic plane. Bringing kinetic phenomenon out of the body and into the visual realm, she builds relationships with the subconscious. Painting allows her to investigate the difference between observational and intuitive processes, and she draws on memory to create organic forms. Her immersive installations bring another dimension to the organic shapes she creates, one which invites viewer participation and engagement. Murals engage with our physical space in the same way that sculpture does – shifting the atmosphere around it and changing place completely.

Describe the proposed work or project.

Early in my artistic study I learned that to draw is to see. We spend our days looking – at our stoves as we make oatmeal, at the road as we drive to work, at our phones as we scroll the minutes away. But how much of the world do we truly see as we walk through it? To sit and draw, even for 10 minutes, is a chance to absorb what’s in front of us. To draw is to pay attention, to give ourselves over to observation and appreciate whatever it is we’re looking at.
I would like to offer a 6 to 8 week course in drawing from life, for anyone who wishes to join. Each week we will meet at my studio (located on Salem Avenue downtown), and from there we will walk to a new destination to draw. Some locations I have in mind are Elmwood Park, the steps of City Hall, the atrium at the Taubman Museum, the roof of Center in the Square, the downtown branch of the library, among others. Each week we will work on a different technique of drawing and different subject matter: going over basic principles of perspective and how to add value; looking at landscape, architecture, interiors; gesture drawing people and practicing with plants. We will learn the difference between graphite and charcoal, and explore using pens. A weekly class will encourage habit forming, and going out into the city to explore will be a vital part of developing a sense of place. This class will be beginner friendly, free to anyone who wishes to learn, and all supplies will be included.
Drawing is a skill that so many think they can’t do – but learning even just a few basic skills empowers people beyond their own imagining. I see drawing as the basis for creation, the first step to big ideas; and I see the world becoming increasingly digitized, wearing down on our memories and our ability to take in our physical environments. I want to provide a space at empowers people to release fear around their creativity, and encourages us all to remember how important engaging with our environment is for our wellness.
At the end of the course, I will organize a show of any work inspired by class that the students wish to share – drawings, other visual art, writing, etc. If I’m not able to find a gallery to work with me on this, my studio will act as a backup location.

How will the work advance wellness, justice, or inclusion in Roanoke? Consider a community issue that you hope to address, something you want to celebrate or a condition you want to change.

As we move ever faster into a digitized and fast-paced future, I want to provide a space for slowness. A scenario where we don’t need our phones or computers, where our bodies can remember what it’s like to sit in calmness and observe. What might we discover when we give ourselves the chance to explore? Our wellness as individuals and community members includes our mental health, our emotional regulation, and our ability to engage with our surroundings.

As an almost life-long resident of Roanoke, I have witnessed many conflicting views of our public spaces and who deserves to occupy them. When we have relationships with our public spaces we begin to take responsibility for them, and advocate for their value and upkeep. Roads and sidewalks, buildings and benches, trees and parks become part of *our* home, it’s *our* city and we all have a place in it. When we initiate and maintain relationships with our public spaces, we increase our scope of responsibility from ourselves and our homes, to the whole city and all its inhabitants. How might things change if we all felt a sense of care for every person we encounter? I truly believe that going out into the city and drawing as a group, once a week will increase everyone’s awareness of the value of public space and it’s importance in everyones’ lives.

The grant itself will allow me to address an issue I am constantly faced with – that of accessibility in the arts. I’m not currently in the position to be able to provide free art classes, but I believe everyone should have the opportunity to learn if they wish to.

When do you anticipate undertaking the work? If the project is tied to a set event or date, let us know.

Because this project will take place outside, I anticipate beginning in April, when the weather is nice and the world is blooming.

Are there partners in this effort? If so describe the partnerships and what each partner brings.

There are no other partners in this project. I anticipate a simple initiative with a straightforward plan, directed by myself and carried out by the participants.

Your theory of change: How will the work advance your efforts as an artist toward an established goal? How will you, a partner organization, or the community be changed?

The act of drawing is observation and attention turned into action; the repetition of a weekly class will encourage these behaviors in participants naturally. Meeting at a central location and walking somewhere else to complete our drawing will instill a greater and more intimate sense of place. An appreciation for one’s immediate surroundings will develop alongside a (possibly new-found, possibly renewed) relationship with our public spaces. A creative habit (drawing from life) paired with a connection to the physical landscape of the city (walking to drawing spots) will form a bond between individuals and their environments. Once that connection is formed and nurtured, it is only a matter of time before one’s sphere of responsibility radiates out to include everyone around them.
This initiative works on multiple levels: at the individual – boosting wellness through encouraging creativity, stillness, and observation; the community level – increasing awareness by being part of a group, engaging physicality, and utilizing public space; and the societal level – by pushing our ideas of what public spaces mean, taking accountability for our contributions to public space, and recognizing that all people should be able to enjoy public space.
An art show to round out the project will showcase how something as seemingly simple as drawing can have a large impact, and it will instill a sense of pride and ownership for those who participate

How much money do you need to accomplish the project? (The allowed range is $500 – $3,000.)$3,000
What other resources do you need to accomplish the project?

I will need a space to hang the final show; my studio is an option but it would be best in a location equipped for showing artwork. This is something I am prepared to address with my professional contacts, though any and all input is welcome.

Attach a full budget for your project. Include all costs and revenues. This can be a spreadsheet, word document, PDF, or image.Perrin-Key-Artist-Action-Grant-Application-2024.docx
Submit your CV, resume, or brag sheet here.Perrin-Key-CV-.docx
Submit a PDF of up to five images representing recent projects or works. (Max file size 10 MB). This should be one file containing multiple images. This must be a PDF. Include captions describing the work. (A PDF can easily be made using the “print as PDF” function in MS Word or “Download as PDF” in google docs.)Perrin-Key-Art-Action-Grant-2024.pdf
Do you have general liability insurance coverage for your arts-based business, either through your own policy or through a project partner?Yes