photo of the artist, courtesy of the artist

Michelle Furlong is exhibiting in BARED: the art of bras and breasts, opening March 3 at The Diamond Shop Gallery (details below/Full Disclosure: I curated this exhibit). She was also included in Les Femmes Folles Books’ 2017 Bared: Contemporary Art and Poetry on Bras and Breasts (edited by Laura Madeline Wiseman).

Michelle Furlong is a happily married feminist artist from Morgantown.  She is an Activist for women’s issues and Mother Earth as well as clean and sustainable food practices.  She is also an Usui Ryoho Reiki Master, exclusively for women. Her art is inspired by social issues, either in the past or present that may have restrained a woman’s personal growth and inner healing. Her brand new series featured in BARED will highlight the patriarchal injustices against women.  The intention for her pieces is to encourage women to look inward and use their beautiful intuition to self-heal from the blocks which may hold them back from obtaining their highest potential.

She has graciously donated beautiful pieces to raise money for various local charities. Her work has been shown in multiple exhibits at Monongalia Arts Center and has been a featured artist in the books, Les Femmes Folles: The Women and Bared: Contemporary Art and Poetry on Bras and Breasts, and other artist publications.

She shares with Zackquill about why this exhibit is important to the Morgantown community, her favorite thing about being an artist here, advice for aspiring artists and more…

Zackquill: How did you end up in West Virginia?

Michelle Furlong: I was born here, moved across the world then moved back and now preparing to move again soon.

Z: How did you come to be an artist? 

MF: No one becomes an artist. Everyone has a creative spark.  As we experience life, we develop blocks our energy centers, such as the sacral, the seat of creativity.  I’ve been fortunate to fill every nook and cranny in my life with art. Life is Art. We are all artists living on a big common canvas.

Z: How did this exhibition come about? Why is this important for the Morgantown community?

MF: This exhibit is curated by Sally Deskins and it is especially important here, locally. It may be a catalyst to open the minds in a patriarchy society. Women all over the world are stepping up and changing the world in big ways.  This exhibit is an example of the inevitable and very overdue change being birthed by women.  In my opinion, Morgantown needs more women making decisions and less of the boy’s club.

Z: How do you think the environment is for the arts in Morgantown? How do you think it could improve?

MF: I create as life inspires me. I do not create with local arts in mind.  The Morgantown area is fortunate to have strong women in art who support strong women artists.  How it could improve? How much time do you have?

Z: What is your favorite thing about being an artist in Morgantown? 

MF: My favorite thing about being an artist here is having the opportunity to work with amazing women in various art modalities.

Z: Any advice for young artists in the area?

MF: Stay true to yourself, ALWAYS!

Z: What would people be surprised to know about you?

MF: How much time do you have?

“I am Woman and I am Beautiful,” 2017, pastel by Michelle Furlong

BARED: the art of bras and breasts, includes work by 19 national artists, and opens at The Diamond Shop Gallery, 320 High St., Friday, March 3, 6-9pm, with a performance piece by Bridget Stamp at 8pm. The show runs thru March 24, 2017.


Sally Deskins is an artist, writer and curator based in Morgantown.


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