Hello, my name is Rachel McCoy. I am pursuing Sculpture and Leadership in the Arts (Art Administration) at Whitworth University. I began my journey at Spokane Falls Community College. There I received my AFA, and then transferred over to Whitworth University. I originally wanted to pursue painting for my bachelor’s degree but changed my mind after I took a sculpture class and learned how to weld at SFCC. A switch flipped inside of me, and I suddenly wanted to learn all about sculpture.
I also took a second sculpture class to learn how to bronze cast. However, because of the pandemic in 2020, I had to take the class online. Luckily, I still learned many techniques, and was able to cast a piece from a mold I made in the sculpture class last summer.
My sculpture has taken many forms. At SFCC my sculpture focused on geometric shapes, formalism, and metaphor. When I began to learn new mediums at Whitworth, my 3D works returned to combining representational and abstracted forms. I found myself drawn to animals. In my ceramic hand building class, we were given a prompt to combine two ideas or animals/creatures together to form one using the slab technique. I was at a loss what to do. Then I remembered some encounters my friend and I had with both sting rays and skates (a type of fish) in North Carolina. Inspired by those events and my fear of sharks and awe of whales, I created two pieces, focusing on abstraction, color, texture, pattern, and variety.
Since I began my journey as an artist many years ago, I have been continually experimenting with supernatural themes in my art. In my Angel Series I explore what these supernatural, spiritual beings may look like. This series was originally inspired by the biblical Lady Wisdom, who is the personification of God’s wisdom as a female entity. I created Lady Wisdom in my ceramic hand building class and decided to continue exploring physical representations of what angels could look like outside of class. The result was the Guardian and the Warrior. All three make up my current Angel Series, which I plan to add to in the future.
Even though I am a sculpture major, I am still pursuing 2D art, especially printmaking. Themes of animals and the supernatural cross over to this medium as well. I really enjoy extreme value changes and linework in 2D art, and printmaking does both naturally. After graduation, I plan to pursue a way to combine both sculpture and printmaking.