Megan Kirk, business owner and visual artist creating under the moniker “Jane Trash“, has been a staple of the 17th Avenue community for over a decade. When this 2013 Top 40 Under 40 winner isn’t busy conjuring up her next art endeavour, you can find Megan both working and playing on the avenue.
What is your background in art? How did you get started?
It’s something that has been with me for as long as I can remember. In 2004 I received my BFA in Printmaking from ACAD which lead me to starting my own silkscreen based businesses; printing merchandise for local companies and musicians. The first print shop I started with a friend was located in an old garage off 17th Ave & 10th Street. In my own fine art practice I have experimented with print, sculpting, illustration, graphic design and installation art. Lately, I have become interested in video art and the fabrication of puppets.
That mural is amazing. How did you get involved with Home & Away?
I had printed for Home & Away partners, Pete Ems and Mike Grimes, back in the day when Giant 45 was in the neighbourhood. I also worked for them with they opened the Hi-Fi Club and did a pop-up shop at their club, Commonwealth with Tubby Dog, the business I co-own. Working with them in their new venture seemed inevitable. The mural was designed by a fantastic Vancouver graphic designer named Rory Doyle. When they were looking for local artists to paint the mural, myself and another local artist, Devin Giles, stepped up.
You’ve been a staple of the 17 Ave community for quite a while, what’s up next for you?
It’s crazy to think about exactly how much time I’ve spent on 17th Ave. High school, 4 residences, co-owned 2 businesses, worked in 6 others and have probably drank and eaten in the rest of them. So I guess I’ll have to find something at least one or two blocks away for my next project!
Describe your perfect day on 17:
Home & Away is the closest bar to my house now, so I would for sure have to start with one of Chef Pigot’s amazing lunches. Then stop in for a beer and a visit at Tubby Dog. Record shopping at Sloth is always great, followed by a bubble tea at Kim Ahn. By then I’m probably burnt out, so a coffee at Beano is in order.
Favourite place to shop?
Shopping is probably my least favorite pass time but I love Steeling Home! Guaranteed to find whatever it is you are looking for. I love British candies and IrnBru, so The Scottish Shoppe is pretty great. The only thing I really love buying is shoes, so of course I go to Gravity Pope! They just opened their new location and it’s awesome. Clothes, shoes, coffee and records!
What is your best-kept 17 Ave secret?
I love the gallery in the basement of Less 17, Secret Eight Project Space. It is curated by local artist, Austin Taylor. They always have such a diverse selection of emerging artists. I’ve seen some really amazing shows there and it’s always got a great crowd for openings. Plus Less 17 is a pretty nice store. I don’t think people realize how convenient 17th Ave is, almost everything I need to do I can get done right here. Last year, for example, I got my taxes done at H&R Block (Opening Soon in their new location on 17th Ave and 9A Street).
When the day is done….best place for a night out?
Local 510! It’s always filled with friends, awesome staff and cold beer. They usually have a band or great DJ and their patio is my favourite in the summer!
What would you like to see on 17 in the future?
I know the neighbourhood has to grow and adapt to the constantly growing demographic but I would like to see 17th Avenue remain a cultural hub for downtown. We are lucky to have an area that contains so many diverse restaurants, clothiers, bars, privately owned businesses, services and public parks. These types of areas are crucial for Calgary’s cultural development. I would love to see the addition of another gallery or artist-run space!
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