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“Deliberate, effective, and finely calibrated, the distortions serve a scene that is incongruous but somehow wholly convincing. With her fluid brushwork, extraordinary color sensibility, and imaginative presentation of the figure, Williamson suggests that painting itself just could be the most exhilarating dare-devil act of all.”

— David Ebony, Contributing Editor, ART IN AMERICA, Full Essay Here, © David Ebony 2018


CONTACT: Megan Williamson,, Tel: 773 951 8178

Rare Nest Gallery presents solo show DEFYING GRAVITY – THE CIRCUS PAINTINGS, spotlighting new work by veteran Chicago artist Megan Williamson

OCTOBER 4, 2018 – Rare Nest Gallery announces a solo show of Chicago artist Megan Williamson’s work DEFYING GRAVITY – THE CIRCUS PAINTINGS, exploring Williamson’s new Circus Series filled with scenes of circus rehearsals that celebrate behind-the-scenes work and work as a metaphor for an artist’s life. The exhibit launches with an Opening Reception on Saturday, November 3, will run until January 12, and features multiple companion events including a reception and lecture with University of Texas Professor Janet Davis, author of “The Circus Age: Culture and Society under the American Big Top” on Saturday December 1.

For more images of Williamson’s work, visit the artist’s website at

Williamson’s new series of paintings and drawings epitomize all that is best in her work: both complex and layered compositions as well as masterful handling of color and intelligent narratives. While Williamson is inspired by the formidable legacy of circus-related visual arts, she has also created her own, personal vocabulary of acrobats, horse-back riders, animals and the iconic striped tents – all inhabiting timeless landscapes.

“I am honored to be part of Rare Nest Gallery’s roster of artists,” says Megan Williamson. “Keith has created a gallery where he shows artists that have a history of making beautiful, intelligent and critical artwork. I am thrilled that he is showing my new suite of Circus Paintings, where I believe I have reached a new level. The show could not have found a better home.” Rare Nest Gallery owner Keith Bringe adds, “Megan Williamson is an incredibly hard-working, talented and community-minded artist who achieves consistently deeper levels of both concept and execution in her paintings. It should be noted that Megan gets up every morning, assiduously tends to her own work, then finds time during the day to reach out to the general community, enriching lives in myriad ways. One aspect of her practice that makes the Circus Paintings so pertinent - they embody the life of the artist - working in solitude behind the scenes toward perfecting an 'act' then bursting onto a stage to provide virtuoso performances.”

Studio Tours and Commissions are available directly from the artist.

Rare Nest Gallery is located at 3433 N Kedvale Avenue, in Chicago’s happening Avondale neighborhood.

Press is welcome at the Opening Reception on Saturday, November 3, 5.00-9.00pm

Please RSVP to or 708 616 8671.

COMPANION EVENTS: RSVPs requested for all events: or 708 616 8671

OPENING RECEPTION: Saturday, November 3, 5.00-9.00pm

RECEPTION & LECTURE: “The Circus Age: Culture and Society under the American Big Top”, Saturday, December 1, 2.00pm-4.00pm

Author and University of Texas Professor Janet Davis gives a look into her provocative and entertaining book linking the flowering of the early 20th Century American railroad circus to such broader historical developments as the rise of big business, the breakdown of separate spheres for men and women, and the genesis of the United States overseas empire. Professor Davis will also be seen on PBS in American Experience’s October, 2-part series on the Circus.

BOOK YOUR OWN PRIVATE SHOWING: Parties of 10 or more people are invited to a personal viewing of the show.


Megan Williamson has had 23 solo exhibitions and has been in over 70 group shows. Her work has been shown in Italy, Ireland, Canada, in dozens of venues in the US and is in private and corporate collections around the country. She is a member of Zeuxis: an association of still life painters (NYC), The Midwest Paint Group and 7 on Site. Her work has appeared in: The New Art Examiner, The Chicago Tribune, Art New England, American Artist, and Chicago Home and Garden. For more detail, see Williamson has had residencies at Louisiana ArtWorks in New Orleans and the Ragdale Artist Colony in Lake Forest IL. In 2014, she had an Innovation Fellowship with the National Science Foundation. She has taught or been a visiting artist at: Mt. Gretna School of Art, The Chautauqua Institute, The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, The Block Museum of Art, the International School of Art in Umbria (IT), University of Michigan, Lookingglass Theatre, Columbia College, Anderson University, University of Dallas, and Progetto Perugia (IT). For more detail, see Her ink drawings in particular are popular with a variety of lifestyle brands: as a robust seller on as well as being commissioned by Ralph Lauren to be featured in their Paris store. She has received 3 CAAP grants and a DCASE grant from the city of Chicago. Ms. Williamson received her BA cum laude from Knox College, and studied at the New York Studio School for two years, where she was awarded a full, second-year, Arthur B Carles Scholarship. She also studied at Yale’s Norfolk Summer Program and Queens College Landscape Painting Program. For more details, see the Artist’s Full Site at


Rare Nest Gallery is interested in understanding the context of an artist's life. Located in Chicago's Avondale neighborhood, Rare Nest Gallery opened in the Fall of 2017 with the major exhibition: CARONE CENTENNIAL CHICAGO, curated by artist Megan Williamson. Rare Nest welcomes novice and seasoned collectors. In addition to a lovingly restored 19th Century storefront interior, offers original artwork and small-run, limited edition prints. Rare Nest represents 9 established, living artists and 2 important estates. Rare Nest’s physical location hosts receptions, lectures and other special events, as well as periodic off-site tours and visits to important private collections. The gallery endeavors to be an integrative partner with community based organizations through philanthropic engagement and other support. is content driven with valuable archival content.


Rare Nest Gallery, 3443 W Kedvale, Chicago IL,, Nov 3, 2018 - Jan 12, 2019


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