The vibrant, whimsical work of Margaret “Meps” Schulte carries messages of hope and generosity. She loves to paint and hang surprise portraits of friends, which evoke exclamations of delight when they find their lives and stories celebrated as public art.
She is best-known as the muralist for the Burning Man Department of Mutant Vehicles, where her work has a prominent location in Black Rock City, a temporary city of 80,000 people. Her studio is located in Dunedin, Florida.
Meps says: “I painted my first mural in the family bathroom at age 13. Although no photos remain, I remember the composition clearly! A group of people, accompanied by a pet bunny, peered through a false window behind the toilet, pointing and laughing. I learned a lot about art from the reactions of people who went into that bathroom — most people chuckled, but others were disturbed.”
Samples of Meps’ Work
“Riding With Freddie” is a 60×60-inch painting commissioned by the Dunedin Downtown Business Merchants’ Association. It documents the life of resident Freddie Webb, who was known to residents and visitors alike for her friendliness and sense of humor.
“Dunedin Rocks” is a park bench commissioned by the City of Dunedin, Florida in 2020. It celebrates the inclusive and interactive art of painting rocks and hiding them for strangers to find. It’s prominently located on the Pinellas Trail at the intersection with State Route 580.
Commissioned by the City of Dunedin, this painted bench celebrates the history of the Optimist sailing dinghy, a tiny boat that is raced by fleets all over the world. The first one was designed and built in Dunedin as an alternative to the Soapbox Derby in 1947.
Status: Coming soon! The artwork is completed, and the bench will be installed at the intersection of Patricia Avenue and Admiral Avenue in mid-May.
The Burning Man Department of Mutant Vehicles operates out of three temporary buildings in the Black Rock Desert. Two of these feature 4×7-foot canvas panels; 21 of them are mounted on the exterior of the buildings each year.
The third building is a retro gas station constructed from a temporary shade structure. This piece stores easily and has been installed from modular components 6 times.
“Indian River at Sunrise.” Interior mural at a private residence. 12×8 feet.