Rachel McCoy

Part 1

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. 

Heavy Metal, 2019, steel, cast iron and light bulb, 51x11x11 inches, made in sculpture class at SFCC
The Rift, 2020, steel, cast iron and enamel paint, 12x10x6 inches, made independently summer of 2020

 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.  

Degradation, 2021, bronze, 4.5×3.75×3.75 inches, mold made in sculpture class in 2020 and cast summer of 2021

Part 2

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.

Ray, 2021, ceramic, 3x9x6 inches, multiple views of Ray, a piece inspired by NC encounters
Whale, Shark, or Something Else?, 2021, ceramic, 5x13x6.5 inches, multiple views of Whale, Shark, or Something Else?, inspired by a whale shark and a hammerhead

Part 3

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.

Lady Wisdom, 2022, ceramic, 12x12x5.5 inches, multiple views of Lady Wisdom, first in the Angel Series
Warrior, 2022, ceramic and feathers, 11.5x12x6 inches, multiple views of Warrior, second in the Angel Series
Guardian, 2022, ceramic and feathers, 10.5x11x5.5 inches, multiple views of Guardian, third in the Angel Series

Part 4

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. 

Jellyfish 1, 2021, monoprint, 5.75×7.5 inches, inspired by a jellyfish encounter at Myrtle Beach, SC
Jellyfish 2, 2021, monoprint, 5.75×7.5 inches, also inspired by Myrtle Beach encounter
Poe, 2021, copper etching, 5×6.75 inches, inspired by Edgar Allen Poe’s The Raven
X-ray, 2021, monoprint, 5.75×7.5 inches, inspired by my interest in the human skeleton

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