About the Artist
John McKaig is a painter, printmaker and photographer from Williamsport. He currently is a professor at Bloomsburg University and the Pennsylvania College of Technology, teaching drawing, photography and art history. He has previously taught drawing, painting, printmaking and photography at the Interlochen Arts Academy for 15 years and Syracuse University for 12 years. He has exhibited his work throughout the United States and internationally. McKaig creates pictures that help him explore the idea of escape, ideas of mortality and passage after life, how to deal with trauma and healing from that trauma. His use of the figure explores his identity as a gay man that is still expected to justify his experiences and basic human identity. He uses nautical imagery, water and the human figure in order to communicate essential ideas of how we relate to each other, how we affect each other, and how to move to space that is empowering and encouraging. John often depicts the figure (or figurative elements or components) in situations or stances that allude to ideas of fighting back, play and wonderment, as well as stoicism and quiet resolve. He also works with the idea of “passage” and “journey” not only to communicate ideas of healing and working through trauma, but also to communicate the idea of growing beyond limitations and definitions of being. He is drawn towards working in a way that drawing is a basis for this exploration. He tries to remain open to how the inherent qualities of a specific media can help him communicate both subtle and dramatic ideas related to his thesis, so he moves between printmaking, drawing, and painting in order to remain active and positive in his process.
Artwork by John McKaig
Special Projects and Exhibitions by John McKaig
Printmaking is over 5000 years old, with the earliest examples coming from the Sumerians who used cylindrical carved stone seals to make impressions on wet clay. Throughout history since then, printmaking has had a large impact on human civilization by increasing the speed, accessibility, and affordability of spreading ideas and images, an influence that continues even today in our modern society dominated electronic communication and reproduction. Even as older printing techniques are surpassed by new ones as technological and economic instruments, artists continue to use and preserve historical methods for their unique aesthetic and procedural properties, and so contemporary printmaking is a landscape in which artisan tradition and cutting-edge technology coexist. Under Pressure is a group printmaking exhibition exploring this landscape.
Steam Roller Day
The public is invited to come out between 11am and 5pm to talk with the artists about their work while watching it come fresh off the press. The gallery will also be open to the public to view the Under Pressure show, and to showcase the steps involved in creating a woodblock print before the pressing, from the initial drawing and carving to inking.