Painting in the silly zone: ‘Squishy Faces’ to be featured at show | News
PLATTSBURGH – Artist Andrew McGill created his Squishy Face series of portraits of friends and family.
McGill’s acrylic paintings can be viewed on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the Strand Center Pop-Up Gallery in the main gallery at 23 Brinkerhoff St. in Plattsburgh.
The show includes Laura Carbone, Michelle Marasch Ouellette, Stephanie Harding, Christina Holland, Lucas Haigh, Henry Goldenberg, Kt Falzetta, Ron Nolland and Bill Crosby.
At St. Peter’s School, McGill received his first art classes.
He graduated from Seton Catholic Central in 2000.
Four years later he earned a Bachelor of Art with a focus on ceramics in the Studio Art program of SUNY Plattsburgh.
He returned to do a Masters in Education.
After McGill completed his coursework in 2011, he completed the North Carolina Education Tour.
He taught art in elementary and middle schools in Fayetteville, then in Smyrna, Atlantic and Harker’s Island.
“They were very similar to St. Peter, but even smaller,” said McGill.
“It was a fishing community. You were on the coast. It got smaller and smaller and they decided to start a middle school. “
The school districts were reconfigured so that he had to reapply for his three year position.
“I stayed a year and just finished middle school,” he said.
His next question was where is art becoming more progressive and diverse.
McGill moved to one of the largest school districts in Charlotte, where he could engage his students at a higher level and immerse themselves in and create a vibrant art scene.
He taught at Piedmont Middle School.
“It’s an IB (International Baccalaureate) world school,” he said.
“They’re trying to build a rounder student and make global connections with everything they do. That really forced me to think a little outside the box about what I was teaching. “
SWITCH IT ON
In the midst of this change, McGill lived in a one-bedroom refrigerator apartment that was accented in its ceramics.
His stove and bike were stored here.
McGill turned his artistic expression to printing and painting.
“It was all the stuff I had to teach my kids to anyway,” he said.
“Although my background and experience lay in ceramics, it made sense for me to develop and further develop the other areas that I only attended in Studio I or Studio II at college.”
His “Squishy Faces” series began with a portrait of his father Patrick, a former acting judge of the Clinton County Supreme Court and a judge on the Clinton County Court.
“The first thing I did was ask my father to always put on that classic face that my mother hated,” he said.
“I always thought it was a gas. I could remember him like this since I was a child. “
His father took a picture of himself and sent it on.
“I painted it and I realized that there is only one familiarity with painting, not just someone you know, just someone else,” said McGill.
“You are really starting to study the details of someone’s face. I think it’s more relevant now at a time when we only see half of someone’s face.
“You begin to study someone and get connected to them before you even really know them. Because it was my father, it just flew out of me. “
Every time he looked at his father’s portrait, he reflected the expression on his face.
McGill sent similar requests to friends and family with the reservation of sharing her goofy face.
“I started taking all these pictures,” he said.
“So much so that my friend sent me a picture of his Uber driver.
“He said, ‘I was driving home one night and I told my Uber driver about all the paintings you did and she said, let me be there.’
“I actually have her on the show and I don’t even know her name.”
“Squishy Faces” has turned into this thing.
“I don’t know when I’m going to stop, but every time I do one I get so energetic,” he said.
“I just finished off my sister, who agreed, and my current girlfriend, future fiancé. I just built on these portraits. “
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