Centreville
 
Maryland

Artist's statement

Full Artist's statement

My work ranges from large site-specific sculptures made with natural materials such as vines, branches or oyster shells to small, intimate artist’s books, drawings and paintings frequently including found natural materials. I am a writer and often include short phrases or poems in my works. I choose to create art that is both visceral and purposefully non-intimidating with the aim of stirring a personal, felt response. It’s important to me to acknowledge life and death, impermanence, change, and the passage of time. Because I feel that nature is our first and best teacher, touching us in direct, physical ways that inspire curiosity and the primal sense of child-like wonder and belonging so lacking in our urbanized and digitalized world, I work to make art that is antidotal to the increasingly self-referential nature of our culture.

I live on a riverside working farm on Maryland’s rural Eastern Shore that has been in my family for generations, and I am an artist-in-residence at a nearby arboretum dedicated to the conservation of the native landscapes of the Chesapeake region. These environments offer constant opportunities for surprise and discovery. Each of my artworks begins with curiosity about the things I encounter, perhaps a lost feather, a bleached bone, a plant just beginning to blossom, or the way the sunset moves up and down the river with the seasons. I collect materials that I find outdoors and often physically include them in my artworks. Because I find that understanding grows from approaching natural phenomena from many different angles, I freely mix these objects with words, drawings, paintings and photographs.

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All work by Howard & Mary

Howard & Mary McCoy
2019, 12" x 9" x .5", oyster shell, antique lace, silk
Howard & Mary McCoy
2019, dimensions variable, found materials, jars, printed labels, gold spray paing
Howard & Mary McCoy
2019, 20' x 15' x 2', grapevines
Howard & Mary McCoy
2018, 12" x 24" x .75", found materials, laser-printing, acrylic
Howard & Mary McCoy
2018, 4" x 4" x 1", wasp nest, graphite, acrylic
Howard & Mary McCoy
2018, 4" x 8", leaves, iron-on transfer, acrylic
Howard & Mary McCoy
2015, dimensions variable, deer bones, colored pencil, varnish
Howard & Mary McCoy
2013, 9 ft. x 33 ft. x 23 in., cedar branches
Howard & Mary McCoy
12' x 14' x 4', Grapevines cut from surrounding trees
Howard & Mary McCoy
14'6" x 6'6" x 4', Fallen branches, vine-wrapped wire
Howard & Mary McCoy
20' x 10' x 10', Cedar branches inserted in dead pine tree
Howard & Mary McCoy
5'6" x 5'6", Eggshells, river-worn stones
Howard & Mary McCoy
17' x 18' x 3', Vines cut away from trunks of living pine trees
Howard & Mary McCoy
15' x 60' x 50', Greenbriar Vines