Ceramic fish leap from the corner of Center Street and 100 West. A bouquet of metal flowers graces the sidewalk near the Moab Information Center. There are sixteen works of art currently on display throughout the streets of Moab, the second annual MoabArTTrails exhibition installed in October of 2018. Some of the artists are Moab-based or from the Wasatch Front, while others are from Nevada, New Mexico, Colorado, or Virginia.
Meg Stewart is the Moab City Arts and Special Events Manager, she works to build creative community at the Moab Arts and Recreation Center and advocates for local/regional artists to create public art in Moab. Meg helped get MoabArTTrails off the ground by coordinating with City staff to figure out art security and placement, also contributing to fund the purchase of two sculptures for a permanent collection.
Meg was thrilled to get the Arts and Special Events Manager position with the City of Moab when she applied three years ago. The last question of the initial phone interview requested: “ Describe yourself in one word.” Rounding out her late twenties, Meg replied, “Enthusiastic!” She is an artist herself and has experience in both leadership and art.
She studied video and animation in college, received a Bachelor of Fine Arts, then moved to the west coast to pursue freelance graphic designer and video work in San Francisco. Five years later, when Meg arrived in Moab she was working remotely for a Bay Area nonprofit, Jewish LearningWorks. It didn’t take long for her to feel a little stir crazy working from home, so she quit without a plan and miraculously found the Arts and Special Events position with Moab City.
“I moved to Moab for its sense of community, epic nature, and to experience living in a small town.” Meg said. At first, she worked for local design and apparel company Pipedream Apparel, until landing her current position. “It’s my dream job! I utilize all the skills I’ve built up over the years,” she said. “It’s an empowering position, because there is so much to do.”
Just as Meg was hired, a public art budget was initiated giving her the means to bring artsy dreams into reality.
“I have an opportunity to help evolve Moab through the arts,” she said.
Meg said she hopes the arts grow to have a positive impact on the tourism in Moab, bringing people in for the same reason they may visit an art destination like Santa Fe. “Quality art surrounded by an amazing landscape, it’s gotta draw people in,” she said.
Meg said these days she puts so much into her work, as well as hosting guests and community events, she doesn’t do a lot of art in her spare time, though she does find time to get out on hikes and swims in the river with her husband, Ben and their dog, Kaya.