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Artwork by Kevin McLaughlin


Artist in Focus

Growing up in a small manufacturing town in northern Illinois with hard-working parents provided a stable life for me. My dad worked at a steel mill, and my mother worked in different factories in the area. We lived out in the country and my younger brother and I rode the school bus into town every day.

I studied art in high school where I first considered it seriously as a possible life choice. I remember a counselor telling me that I might pursue a job as a commercial artist because “everyone needs to eat”. After considering for a brief moment a career as a rock star, I decided to take the counselor’s advice.

Beginning as an airbrush painter, my work began to expand into organic, minimal abstractions, embodying the romantic vision of myself.

In Chicago, the techniques of airbrush artists gave our work a decidedly different look. We developed a certain short-hand approach to ‘chiaroscuro’ which fit the Chicago aesthetic.

Back then, I was influenced by the Imagists as well as abstract painters and influencers of the time such as Judy Chicago, Christina Ramberg, Elizabeth Murray, Barbara Rossi, Frank Piatek, Ed Pashke, and William Conger.

With the advent of computers and advanced editing software, lights, bells, and whistles went off in my mind. Digital art became second nature to me, just like airbrushing had been years before. Digital art became another avenue to express myself.

My art has always been the one thing in life that has kept me grounded. It has opened up a world of experiences, people, and places that I never imagined possible.


Credentials

Credentials

EDUCATION

Bachelor of Arts, Master of Fine Arts - Northern Illinois University, DeKalb, IL

 

SELECTED EXHIBITIONS

“Salon” - large format digital print shows, Los Angeles Digital Art Center, CA, 2014-16

“One-person Show - Tucson Jewish Community Center, Tucson, AZ, 2014.

“One-person Show of Digital Works” - Tubac Art Center, Tubac, AZ, 2008

“One-person Show” - Central Arizona College, Coolidge, AZ. 2007

“Arizona Biennial” - Tucson Museum of Art, Tucson, AZ, 2007

“Small Works Invitational” - Davis-Dominguez Gallery, Tucson, AZ, 2003

“One-person Show of Paintings and Collages” - Arizona Western College, Yumam AZ, 1998

“Three-person Show”, Pima Community College, Tucson, AZ, 1996

 

RELATED PROFESSIONAL ACTIVITIES

Membership in various co-op galleries (1984-2002)

Graphic Artist/Designer, for various newspapersm ad agencies, and marketing firms (1975-2011)

Adjunct Instructor, Community Outreach, Sauk Valley College, Dixon, IL (1983-4)

 

AWARDS, GRANTS & RESIDENCIES

Professional Development Grant, Arizona Commission on the Arts, 2003

Graduate Assistantship, Northern Illinois University, 1979

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