I dream . . . of the natural and built environments and how they might interact. The results may lean toward Mother Nature and/or compliment her. Many ideas frolic without particular meaning but some are serious.
I think . . . in terms of cutting through space, blocking space, and what the results might be.
I see . . . the object. Sometimes I see the space around it. Usually, it is a combination of the two.
I neglect . . . naming an abstract piece, causing viewers to make of it what they will. The piece must take on a life of it’s own. When this happens, people see things I would never have imagined.
I believe . . . steel is a marvelous medium. Strong and pliable, it speaks to me. If I work it, respect it, and treat it gently, ironically it will reward me by telling my story to others. If people walk around, touch, and occasionally climb my sculpture, I consider it a success. It means they have connected with it. It is talking to them.
I am . . . a dedicated artist who believes all of these things influence my art.
it's About Cynthia
Cynthia McKean, born in 1940, grew up in Montana and Wyoming. The horizon there is chiseled against a sky so blue that some say it hurts their eyes.
Wide open spaces go on forever. Mountains thrust upward to the sky. Colors are strong. Weather is fierce, be it hot or cold.
Wildlife has adapted as has the vegetation sustaining it. People are so few that it is natural for them to become molded by these extraordinary surroundings.
It is not surprising that she chose to attend a small liberal arts school in WallaWalla, Washington called Whitman College.
She graduated in 1963 with a degree in biology. For the next three years, Cynthia worked as a research assistant at the University of Oregon Dental School.
She left the work force to be a full time mother when the first of her two children was born. As she pondered during ensuing years,
she began to understand that in order to champion the wonders of the Natural environment, one must also comprehend the built environment.
The University of Idaho was buried in ash in 1980 when Mount Saint Helen blew her top. On the same day, three hundred miles away, Cynthia McKean graduated
with a degree in architecture. Before long, she was working for the Idaho Department of Energy giving seminars on alternative energy.
As fate would have it, in 1982 Cynthia joined the manufacturing industry in Michigan. The factory into which she poured her life had this wonderful,
special place called “the weld shop”. By the mid 1990’s, she finally followed her heart to the local vocational technical center and started welding her
own ideas into sculpture. In June of 1997, she began her new adventure as a sculptor.
Today she lives in Saugatuck, Michigan. Her studio, fondly referred to as “The Barn”, is down the driveway in the woods behind the house.
She continues to find it all enthralling.
- Lightest sculpture1/2 pound
- Heaviest sculpture6 tons
- Tallest sculpture21 feet
- Smallest sculpture5 inches
- Number of pieces produced450+
- Years creating steel sculpture20
- Years participating in ArtPrize4