Grand Opera House


Megan Fredrich

Photography by Michael Hanamann

Classifying one as an art rebel is a bit redundant – haven’t painters, sculptors and makers long been the rulebreakers of society? But even within art, a practice rooted in creativity and disruption, conventions exist, traditions are followed and classics are celebrated.

Megan Fredrich is having none of it.

“The art scene is a little old school and stuck in its ways with a lot of things unless you play the game and I don’t play the game,” the Neenah native says.

Mostly self-taught, Fredrich began her DIY art practice in acrylic paint and inks. Her work can be seen at local restaurants and venues including Fress Restaurant and Bar, Appleton Beer Factory, Gibson Music Hall and Mad Apple Burger & Billiard Co. She has dabbled in oils, created murals for Fox Cities businesses and lately has been experimenting with resin pouring, learning techniques by watching YouTube videos.

Formal training has never been a priority for Fredrich, who values self innovation and experimentation over the confines of academic practices.

“I was submitting art into a contest and the application asked what art techniques I used. Um, I drank a bottle of wine. I don’t know the technical term, I just did me,” Fredrich says. “You don’t need to do things a certain way in art. That’s what art is.”

The human form is a common subject of Fredrich’s work. She often forgoes traditional canvases, opting rather for items found around the house. An old barn window serves as a canvas for a portrait of Fredrich’s 9-year-old son. A repurposed storm door is painted with a scene from her favorite sunflower field in Cecil. She paints late into the night as a way to relax and combat anxiety.

“Mostly painting is therapeutic for me,” Fredrich says. “I don’t know if you call it inspiration, but art is my way of releasing the negative things in my life.”

Photography by Michael Hanamann

At times, Fredrich’s use of vivid colors in her work juxtaposes the darkness that inspires it. The irony of being an art rebel is that while it’s a very personal form of therapy for Fredrich, many people relate to her work.

“I do art for me, I don’t do it for anyone else, but when people tell me that they can connect with a piece, I like that they can feel it too,” she says.

For more of Fredrich’s work, follow her on Facebook at Megan Fredrich – Artist – Wet Paint. 


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