North Shore Volunteer Spotlight: Megan Cox

May 7, 2014 By vincent-uribe

Megan Cox is an ace volunteer! One of our favorite things about her is her natural understanding of The Arts of Life studio. Her values and our values are closely aligned and she almost immediately understood our model for working together as artists with and without disabilities. That’s why we didn’t hesitate when she approached us about starting a series of photography workshops at the North Shore studio. Yes please! We were ecstatic to have Megan facilitating Photo Group. Since February, Megan’s been meeting with a group of artists each Tuesday to introduce the fundamentals of photography. They started small by learning the basics of using a camera. Once the group mastered that, it was one to the exciting stuff… They’ve photographed still lives, each other and even took some publicity shots for the North Shore studio band, Van GoGo. The photos included here were taken one Tuesday by Photo Group member Amanda Gantner and they capture Megan beautifully.Soon, Photo Group will be posting their photos weekly on their blog, so keep an eye out for that!  Who knows what other exciting things will come out of this crew of enthusiastic new photographers. We knew there was more to Megan than just photography, so Photo Group member Emily Aussem sat down to chat with her about why she volunteers at The Arts of Life and what her life is like outside the studio. Check out what she had to say![[{“fid”:”6111″,”view_mode”:”default”,”fields”:{“format”:”default”,”field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]”:”Amanda snaps a picture of Megan snapping a picture. “,”field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]”:”Amanda snaps a picture of Megan snapping a picture. “},”type”:”media”,”attributes”:{“height”:366,”width”:652,”alt”:”Amanda snaps a picture of Megan snapping a picture. “,”title”:”Amanda snaps a picture of Megan snapping a picture. “,”class”:”media-element file-default”}}]]Emily Aussem: How did you hear about Arts of Life?Megan Cox: I saw something online through the Chicago Artists Resource website.EA: How long have you worked here?MC: I’ve been volunteering since November. EA: What do you like about The Arts of Life?MC: There are so many things I like about AofL. I really like that everyone here is so positive. Everybody is so kind to one another. And I like that everybody works together and pitches in to run the studio and make it successful. It’s a beautiful place.EA: What kind of work do you do when volunteering?MC: I help artists come up with ideas and strategies for how to make their art look the way they want it to look, the way they’re picturing it in their minds. I like to help with art history. I also help out with the photo group, which the fabulous Emily Aussem is part of. EA: What’s your favorite task?MC: That’s a tough one. I really like interacting with you guys. I love hearing about what everybody’s up to. Whenever I come, the day goes by so fast and I have such a good time. I really like all of it. Everybody is always laughing and smiling and happy. I feel so good when I come here because everybody is happy to be here. It’s a great place to be. I guess for me, I always feel good when I leave The Arts of Life. Not because I’m helping, but because you guys are so great. Being here makes me happy.EA: Are you an artist?MC: Yes, I am an artist.  My medium is photography. I like to do street photography. I’ve done some mixed media projects as well. I’m in a transitional period with my artwork. It’s changing from strictly photography to more multi media.EA: Do you have a favorite artist?MC: I do! I love the photographer Saul Leiter. He’s so fabulous. I just think he’s amazing. His street photography! I first saw his work at the Art Institute about 7 years ago — an exhibition on early color. He was one of the pioneers of color photography. I love his use of color and the way he composes his photos. He’s fantastic.EA: What do you do when you’re not at The Arts of Life?MC: I like to do yoga. I like hanging out w/ my kids. I love to read. I love music. I like to go to concerts and listen to music any time I get a chance. I like gardening too.EA: That’s it. Thank you! MC: Thank you, Emily!—Thanks for everything you do, Megan! We’re so lucky to have you as part of our community of artists!Wanna get happy like Megan?! Start volunteering at The Arts of Life! Fill out our volunteer application today. “Everybody is always laughing and smiling and happy.” You could be, too!