Margaret Ellen Ready
Creating Artwork as Displacements of Reality
Margaret Ellen Ready is a La Crescent native attending University of St. Mary’s and Winona State University while simultaneously finishing high school. Along with creating artwork, she works at Longhorn Valley Greenhouse, cares for her pet rabbit, and enjoys the outdoors.
Ready grew up in a family of artists but only took on art creation within the last year as an emotional vehicle. “I have significantly improved my mental health after living a few years with depression. Making art was, and is, an important outlet for me to have; making art makes me happy,” says Ready.
“Snow Babies” is one of a handful of collage art pieces that Ready fashioned to develop into screen printed t-shirt designs. Her collage-making was inspired by her father’s suggestion since he created collages in childhood. Ready states that she values the relationship with her parents as “essential in this whole process.”
Ready explains, “As of right now, my central engagement is producing these funky, eye-appealing images. I do dabble in photography and videography. Most of my pieces are displacements of reality; I really enjoy creating that kind of impression because it causes you to look at it a little bit longer. The most rewarding thing about all of this, is the positive feedback and getting to actually see my shirts worn by people. When you put on a shirt, you are associating it with your outfit and style; your style is a large part of who you are and sometimes what you stand for. To see somebody enjoy my art enough to create an outfit out of it, is an awesome feeling and it’s the ultimate form of encouragement.”
Ready was further encouraged by Barb Kooiman, coordinator of the Driftless Makers Exchange, to join the local art community and to sell her artwork and shirts. Ready has since formed Maggie Tees, set up shop online, and joined the recently held Driftless Makers Exchange show to further her business. “The idea of a bunch of local artists and makers coming together to promote their products and educate the public on their craft, is such an appealing and intriguing thing to do. I am very excited to participate, learn, educate, and maybe even inspire at this event.”