Megumi Shauna Arai
In the summer of 2015, artist Megumi Shauna Arai traveled to Shikoku, Japan, with the help of the Prairie Underground Grant, to work in a 300 year old traditional paper making studio. This body of work is a culmination of the materials she collected, imagery she shot, and traditional craft practices that inspired and influenced her.
Megumi Shauna Arai is a biracial artist and freelance commercial photographer. Her work explores identity, intimacy, beauty, and imperfection. She currently is an artist in residence at The Photographic Center Northwest. Her first solo exhibit was Terra Incognita at Glass Box Gallery in 2014. She is a Vignettes artist and has exhibited at Out of Sight, Greg Kucera Gallery, and SOIL. Megumi has been commissioned by the Office of Arts and Culture and Aktionsart. Her work has been profiled on Featureshoot, Humble Arts Foundation and The Henry Art Gallery.
She saw Philip Glass perform in Los Angeles last year and nothing will ever be the same.
MEGUMI SHAUNA ARAI x Prairie Underground, 2016
Prairie Underground is a company that has been formed and guided by a sustained engagement with art. The community that inspired our company name was a group of activists, artists and musicians. Creators and social innovators remain our most potent muses and collaborators in understanding our human experience.
In 2014 through a series of email and text messages we initiated a project that funds the creation of new work for emerging artists. The program provides a stipend for artists to create a series of work in their chosen medium to be installed in our workshop. Any material or inspiration from our environment may be used as inspiration. Prairie Underground’s products, materials and space are at the artist’s disposal. The work should not be approached or produced as marketing for our company. The grant is intended to support each artist’s individual artistic inquiry. The series they create remains the possession of the creator while we are allowed unlimited rights to share and promote the work.
Art is being commissioned to replace traditional marketing images. With this approach we are advertising Prairie Underground’s commitment to new artistic production and defining this practice as an integral part of our brand identity.
Supporting art remains an essential act to promote social justice through a focus on the individual. The importance of art in society will take a prominent place alongside our environmental concerns. We believe inviting artists into our design practice and investing in the creation of new work will produce more thoughtful design and ultimately a better world.