Statement / Bio

A painting practice creeps beyond the edges of a canvas: its imagery converses with the tangible world, leaning into objects that are sculpted, words written on pages in a quiet book, or particular things arranged in a particular way. 
A body which once turned inward and covered itself carefully slowly unfolds, begins to feel the ground it lives on and flow with the air around it. 
A spirit grows wild, even after it’s been tamed by repeated prayers, sacred names and holy waters.

As a queer white menstruating human of Irish decent who lives and makes art in a time where our world struggles to dismantle its anger, hatred and self-harm, I imagine art to be a regenerative, healing magic. I listen to folk music that reminds me of my dad, and I read books that recall my mother. News and daydreams and longings for an unattainably perfect future merge with these sounds and words. My medicinal herb garden grows slowly, protected by mugwort and yarrow. Contained inside these parentheses of my life, I make art that wonders how my experiences affect my white/pink body/mind as I move through space to interact with plants and other humans. So many lives are steeped with pain or plagued with depression; my work is done in mourning for those lives and in questioning the rigid structures of a racist, ableist, sexist, homo/transphobic, patriarchal society.
Physical movement and manipulation of materials become a way for me to bridge my daily fears and anxieties with a dreaming, playful mind. My work is made of paint, paper, clay, markers, glitter, wood, pastels, ink, tape, graphite, gesso, glue, hand-painted fabrics and other recycled materials. By embodying the physical and mental action of focusing in to make repetitive lines and dashes, cutting shapes, mixing, slicing, painting, scraping, gluing, stretching my body wide to make washes of color :: pausing to dance or stretch between periods of working :: climbing on a ladder to reach high up, squatting, kneeling or laying down to work low to the ground :: my body settles, creating space for me to up-root and examine my lived or inherited sensations and experiences. Changing materials into art in turn changes me, generating growth like seeds sprouting, and flowers unfolding. Through this creative examination of what exists inside of and around me, I heal from pain that has become stuck in my body, becoming a part of the greater healing that is so drastically needed on this hurting earth.

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quinn mcnichol grew up in Glenside, PA, and earned a BFA in Fine Art from Pennsylvania College of Art and Design in 2012. They have participated in programs including the Emerging Artist in Residence (EAR) program at Millersville University, Visual Arts at Chautauqua Institution (VACI), and the Vermont Studio Center, and have painted murals for the Philadelphia Folk Festival for over 10 years. Being a student and resident with the Mount Gretna School of Art (MGSoA) over several summers was exceptionally influential to their creative practice and discipline. In June 2021 quinn earned their MFA from the Painting + Drawing program at University Of Washington’s School of Art + Art History + Design in Seattle, WA. quinn recently became a member of Soil, a Seattle-based artist-run gallery and collective.