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April 29, 2017 @ 8:00 AM - June 10, 2017 @ 5:00 PM
Aggressively manipulating paint, wax crayon and ink on the hard surface of his hand-built cradled wood panels, Mike McConnell first applies pigment with a brush then uses single edge razor blades to draw and scrape into the fields of color. His often playful and visually complex compositions are built using a collage-like process where the artist cuts out shapes and converts the history of his initial painting into a new conversation. A keen observer who paints intuitively, McConnell usually turns to nature for inspiration to create bold and vibrant works that reflect his varied interests and memories in abstracted scenes filled with patterns and witty narratives. The Baltimore artist earned his BFA from Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) in 1975 and worked for more than 30 years as an illustrator, freelancing for advertising agencies and design firms in the Baltimore and Washington, DC metropolitan area. Since 2012, McConnell has focused exclusively on his fine art studio practice and since 2015 has maintained a studio at The Motor House in Baltimore, MD. The award winning artist is a 2016 recipient of the Maryland State Arts Council Individual Artist Award. His work has been exhibited in solo shows at School 33, Baltimore, MD; and The Athenaeum, Alexandria, VA; as well as in regional and national juried group exhibitions at the Creative Alliance, Baltimore, MD; McLean Project for the Arts, McLean, VA; Strathmore Mansion, Bethesda, MD; Platform Gallery, Baltimore, MD; Chautauqua Annual Exhibition of Contemporary Art, Chautauqua, NY