Photos by Meg Spielman | Headshots by Hillary Ehlen
Adorning the walls of the Family Birth Center in the new Sanford Medical Center are two collections by FMVA Member of the Year, artist and photographer Meg Spielman Peldo.
These whimsical works feature infants swaddled in nature and still life scenes made out of found objects. However, capturing these seemingly serene subjects was much more complicated than you might think.
We met with Spielman to discuss her recent achievements and what it was like behind the scenes during the “Nature Baby” photoshoots.
Spielman was one of many artists selected to be featured in the new Sanford Medical Center in South Fargo. She had previously collaborated with the healthcare provider to create an award-winning coffee-table book in 2012. This time, Spielman was asked to create whimsical artwork for the Family Birth Center that would take patients’ minds off of being in the hospital. She then came up with two concepts that led to the creation of “Nature Baby Project” and “Nature Still Life Study.”
Spielman’s “Nature Baby Project”
The “Nature Baby Project” includes 38 images of infants in nature-inspired still life scenes and a nursery in the forest. Sanford Medical Center requested that Spielman feature babies of Birth Center employees.
“I didn’t start until October, so I had to hunt and gather. I was chasing leaves in the street,” Spielman laughed.
“I was honored to be selected as one of the artists for the new hospital. – Meg Spielman
This woodland nursery featuring furniture from The White House Co. was shot at Lindenwood Park in Fargo and MB Johnson Park in Moorhead. Spielman later combined the images in Photoshop to create this magical forest.
Normally, you would need a whole team of people to do costuming and comforting during these types of photoshoots. “When working with babies, especially little ones, there’s a lot of waiting and trying to soothe the baby,” Spielman explained.
Sometimes, Spielman had to shoot the backdrop and the infant at separate times, then she would put the images together in Photoshop. “It was extremely time consuming, but I’m really happy with the results,” Spielman said.
Spielman’s “Nature Still Life Study”
The other series of works that Spielman created for the Family Birth Center was “Nature Still Life Study.” This study consists of eight still life images made of items found in nature. These images were printed on large canvases, most of which were 5-and-a-half feet by 3 feet.. Each canvas has stitching details, which you will often see in Spielman’s work.
“Because it was such a large print, I had the entire image printed on the background and had additional pieces printed, which I cut apart and sewed onto the surface of the canvas, so it still has the look of being sewn together,” Spielman explained.