If you take a scenic stroll along the banks of the Reedy River and slip inside Meredith Piper’s Art Crossing studio, there’s plenty to please your artistic senses. Pastel paintings line the white walls: prickly pear cacti rest against a muted orange backdrop, agave and cordyline plants come to life in soft pinks and sea greens, and a few mountainous landscapes pop with bold sunset reds and vibrant purples.
These showpieces are the labor of the Louisiana native, who is making her Greenville debut with a vibrant energy reminiscent of the way she approaches art. In the few short weeks since she and her husband hit the road and headed to the Upstate, Piper has set up shop, sold several pieces including a seven-footer to Allen Tate Realtors, and scheduled a grand opening. “This is my new hometown,” Piper says. “I want to learn more about it and what people love and the beautiful things here.”
A native of Shreveport, Louisiana, Piper’s earliest memories involve a kitchen table and drawing dresses on doll figurines sketched by her dad. Combining that with her early art education—in elementary school she was exposed to weaving and pottery—and a bachelor’s in studio art from Louisiana Tech, Piper has crafted an impressive and diverse portfolio, especially considering she’s still in her twenties.
Pulling inspiration from Monet and John Singer Sargent, Piper’s paintings reflect impressionistic influences, which balance well with her own distinctive style. Instead of canvas, she paints on birch wood, often starting with acrylic and then adding layer and texture with oils. Her subjects span from potted plants—which are the artist’s own—to Southwest scenes, but her preference is always nature. It’s the light and shade and color changes that compel her, and for Meredith her art is about exaggerating those nuances, enlivening them with more color, more punch.
“As you grow, you realize it’s not about every single line. It’s the form and the shape and highlight,” Piper explains.
But Piper’s growth as an artist is not limited to her paintings. She also works with textiles, weaving yarn and wool into more abstract pieces she encases with house- made wooden frames. Her Geode hangs on the back wall of her studio, a woven gem of blues and yellows and whites, appearing like the smooth surface of a stone that’s been sliced in half. Several more of her textiles intersperse her paintings on the walls, and when asked which medium she prefers, Piper likens it to having to choose which child is your favorite.
Regardless of whether it’s pastels or textiles, Piper is ready to be growing her art here in Greenville. “I am very excited to get to be a part of this artist community,” she says. “And not just benefiting from it but volunteering and collaborating with other creatives. I don’t want to just take from my community, but I want to give back, as well.”
Meredith Piper’s studio is located at 300 River St, Suite 104 on the Art Crossing. Her work has been on display at the R.W. Norton Art Gallery in Shreveport, Louisiana, as well as Steve Martin Studios in New Orleans. See more at meredithpiper.com or on instagram @meredithpiperart.