Meital Gueta is a graphic artist born in Israel, based in New York City. Meital’s design includes unique use of a variety of materials and typography. Her works have been presented in several group exhibitions in Israel and in London. Meital was a recipient of the 2008-2010 scholarship from the ISEF Foundation; the 2005-2007 scholarship from the America-Israel Cultural Foundation; the 2007-2008 Scholarship of Excellence, and the 2010 Abroad Scholarship from the America-Israel Cultural Foundation. As one of our contributing artists for the annual AICF Gala happening this coming Saturday, December 4th, ACIF caught up with Metial to learn more about her work with 3D objects and her journey to where she is today.
1) What or who inspired you to want to become an artist?
I was influenced by both my father and my sister. My sister studied graphic design when I was about 13 years old; I remember trying to solve her assignments and sharing my thoughts with her. I discovered that I enjoyed the challange of communicating a conceptual idea in a visual representation. From my father, I inherited a love of using materials and my hands. For many years he worked as a mechanic and welder for the IDF. At home my father always found ways to do his own work creating objects with wood and metal. He encouraged me to develop my own techniques, creating art using unconventional materials and finding my inspiration in unusual places.
2) What was your creative journey that has brought you to where you are today?
My creative journey began in Esti Schur’s art studio before I began my academic studies. My experience at the art studio helped me develop the insight and courage to reach from deep within myself and create a connection with my subject. My academic journey started at the Visual Communication Department at Bezalel Academy of Art and Design. In my third year in Bezalel I had the opportunity to participate in a student exchange program in London. After graduating, and working in Tel Aviv for a period of time,three years ago I came to the United States to earn my masters at the School of Visual Arts. I currently live and work here, in NYC. Studying abroad both in London and New York exposed me to different design principles allowing me to communicate to different audiences. Not having the comfort of the known and familiar at home challenged me to explore and utilize materials that I have never worked with before.
3) What do you need as an artist today?
There are several things I need as an artist, especially living in a new country: an arts community and the ability to network with other young artists from different fields of art for the possibilities for future collaborations. I also seek a platform where I can present my work as well as the financial assistance; when a project needs to come to life, there are many elements that need to come together to make it happen.
4) What creative project are you working on now?
These days I am collaborating with a speech therapist on a product for children with language and communication difficulties. Our ideas are still in the very early stages of development and I look forward to sharing more as the ideas become more fully realized.
5) Where do you see yourself and your career in 10 years?
My goal is to continue experimenting and exhibit my work. I hope that the work I do with 3D materials will grow and lead me in the future to design in public spaces. Since I have always been interested in psychology and have focused on social subjects in much of my work, I also hope to continue working with communities who have special needs.
6) What does it mean to you to be an Israeli artist?
Being an Israeli is who I am, but it’s not the only thing that defines me. I believe that all I have experienced during my life influences the decisions I have made in my designs and the subjects I choose to focus on. My intent is for my work to relate to many cultures and people of different backgrounds. I believe that my experiences encourage me to take more risks in my work and not be intimidated by controversial subjects.
7) What does it mean to you to have an organization like AICF available in the art world?
AICF has been there for me since the early years of my studies. The organization not only gave me, the financial assistance that was needed, but also tremendous moral support, recognition, and exposure that every young artist hopes for in their career. I am very honored to be part of the group of AICF artists, and an organization that cares about my success and interests and seeks every day for new ways to help Israeli artists grow.