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James McElhinney is an author, visual artist, oral historian, independent scholar and publisher. In his recent works, McElhinney turned his attention to the Rio Grande, following the historic river across New Mexico, collecting images and stories along the way. From these materials, he developed a suite of paintings and color intaglio prints, adding to the growing conversation around one of America’s greatest waterways.
To understand landscape, one must know one’s location, study the terrain, considering the process of nature and human activity that modifies the terrain over time. Drawing and painting provide me with modes of engagement, and the means to develop sensory experience into a species of knowledge that gives rise to ideas. The hope is that my efforts will inspire others to explore their own homes, settlements, lands and waterways, to discover these wonders anew, perhaps with a sketchbook in hand.
– James McElhinney
McElhinney attended Tyler School of Art (MFA Painting), Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, and Yale University (MFA Painting). He has received numerous honors including a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts. McElhinney is also a published author who has conducted numerous oral histories and interviews for the Smithsonian Archives of American Art, Coleccion Patricia Phelps de Cisneros, the Frick Center for the History of Collecting, Columbia University INCITE for the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation, Center for Southern Jewish Culture, Vermont Studio Center, VoCA, Voices in Contemporary Art, other foundations and private patrons. McElhinney is listed on the Master Artist Council of the Arthur Miller Foundation and is the recipient of a Pollock Krasner 2017 artist-grant.