John McKaig is a painter, printmaker and photographer from Williamsport. He currently is a professor at Bloomsburg University and the Pennsylvania College of Technology, teaching drawing, photography and art history. He has previously taught drawing, painting, printmaking and photography at the Interlochen Arts Academy for 15 years and Syracuse University for 12 years. He has exhibited his work throughout the United States and internationally.
McKaig creates pictures that help him explore the idea of escape, ideas of mortality and passage after life, how to deal with trauma and healing from that trauma. His use of the figure explores his identity as a gay man that is still expected to justify his experiences and basic human identity. He uses nautical imagery, water and the human figure in order to communicate essential ideas of how we relate to each other, how we affect each other, and how to move to space that is empowering and encouraging. John often depicts the figure (or figurative elements or components) in situations or stances that allude to ideas of fighting back, play and wonderment, as well as stoicism and quiet resolve. He also works with the idea of “passage” and “journey” not only to communicate ideas of healing and working through trauma, but also to communicate the idea of growing beyond limitations and definitions of being.
He is drawn towards working in a way that drawing is a basis for this exploration. He tries to remain open to how the inherent qualities of a specific media can help him communicate both subtle and dramatic ideas related to his thesis, so he moves between printmaking, drawing, and painting in order to remain active and positive in his process.