Morgan E. McKinney was born in the coal-mining town of Maplewood, West Virginia, and moved to the Richmond, Virginia area at a young age. A passion and affinity for art grew from an early interest in drawing anything and everything in his surroundings. This enthusiasm and endless creativity occupied most of his time during adolescence.
While studying at Virginia Commonwealth University, Morgan accepted a position in advertising production with a Richmond based company, which began his vocation in the graphic arts world. Career positions included mechanical artist, graphic artist, art director, graphic and structural designer, and management of corporate graphic arts for a large Virginia based paper manufacturer. During much of this time, Morgan supplemented his income as a musician. His last few years in the graphic arts industry involved sales for printing and digital pre-press companies in Virginia and Minnesota. With the demands of a full time career that included travel, and many midnight press checks, he found there was little time left for his true ambition. In 2003, he made the life altering decision to change that, and decided to devote all of his time to painting. Although not exhibiting during the years employed in the graphic arts industry, most of Morgan’s paintings were commissions or were sold directly to private collectors.
Working in both oil and water media, Morgan’s contemporary realism paintings are heavily influenced by his love of boats, sailing, and architecture. His fascination of light and shadow, and his desire to retain the purity of color is evident, and in much of Morgan’s work, this purity is achieved by the fragmentation of both light and color. Dedication to craftsmanship and technical accuracy, and the use of premium archival materials are very integral to Morgan’s work.
In appreciation of the Chesapeake Bay area, one of the major sources of Morgan’s inspiration, 5% of net-profit from each nautical themed, limited edition, paper custom archival art print is donated to the Chesapeake Bay Foundation. CBF is dedicated to the restoration and protection of the Chesapeake Bay and its tributary rivers. Its “Save the Bay” programs include environmental advocacy, environmental education, and habitat restoration throughout the Bay watershed.
Morgan’s working studio is located in Richmond, Virginia, and his primary Gallery is located at The Crossroads Art Center, 2016 Staples Mill Road, Richmond, VA 23230. The Art Center represents over 225 mid-Atlantic region artists in all types of media. Its wide client-base includes private collectors, art and corporate consultants, architects, and interior designers. For the Art Center’s hours and directions, please visit their website at www.crossroadsartcenter.com.