Staying Inspired With the Help of an Artist: Shaina McCoy



Art - Staying Inspired With the Help of an Artist: Shaina McCoy
That’s Candy’s Sister Cherisa, 2019

Shaina McCoy is an artist based in Minneapolis, Minnesota. She is known for portraiture that references family photographs: “Heritage is important to me when it comes to my process and everything I do with my painting and the things I present to the world”, she said in this profile.

Shaina’s style is distinct. You could describe it as a modern version of Impressionism: the faces of her subjects are blank, save for the texture of intentional brush strokes; oil paint is sculpted to create details such as a pearl, a curl, a hair clip, or a print. For her own self-portraits she often paints on lace.   

If you follow her on Instagram (@wallflowermccoy) you may find her mixing her oil paints: mint green for an aunt’s dress, lavender for a baby’s clothes, a muted rose for a calico print, or rich browns that are as tactile as skin.

When I approached Shaina about sharing her art, she gracefully agreed. It would be simplistic to say that her city is going through a difficult time.

In the past month, we have witnessed two racially charged murders of black men. Breonna Taylor’s murder in March was equally heartbreaking. Without awareness, the collective outrage of injustice would not exist. However, to see this type of violence over and over again, year after year, without any type of reform to prevent it from happening again is traumatic.

In a feature in the most recent issue of Art Papers (Art of the New Civil Rights Era), writer Tyra Seals wrote: “Shaina McCoy’s art portrays the resilience of Black families that is rarely publicized to the same degree as Black suffering brutalization, and death.”

This is true and disconcerting. More than ever, I have realized how important it is for me to seek out examples of resilience and optimism in the arts and history.

It would be naïve to believe that staying inspired, posting on Instagram, or attending a protest will solve racism and police brutality, but it is a start. Having a vision of what a world looks like without racism and all the other isms is essential.



Art - Staying Inspired With the Help of an Artist: Shaina McCoy
Great Aunt Dorothy and Mel, 2018
Art - Staying Inspired With the Help of an Artist: Shaina McCoy
Pops, 2018

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Art - Staying Inspired With the Help of an Artist: Shaina McCoy
Detail – Great Aunt Dorothy and Mel, 2018
Art - Staying Inspired With the Help of an Artist: Shaina McCoy
@wallflowermccoy
Art - Staying Inspired With the Help of an Artist: Shaina McCoy
Self-Portrait Number 5, 2018
Art - Staying Inspired With the Help of an Artist: Shaina McCoy
Father, Father, 2018
Art - Staying Inspired With the Help of an Artist: Shaina McCoy
Detail – Self Portrait Number 5, 2018
Art - Staying Inspired With the Help of an Artist: Shaina McCoy
Chalk and Bows, 2017
Art - Staying Inspired With the Help of an Artist: Shaina McCoy
Heir to the Throne, 2018
Art - Staying Inspired With the Help of an Artist: Shaina McCoy
His First Hair Cut, 2018
Art - Staying Inspired With the Help of an Artist: Shaina McCoy
Troy Lee, 2018
Art - Staying Inspired With the Help of an Artist: Shaina McCoy
Mother and Daughter x Michelangelo Painting, 2016
Art - Staying Inspired With the Help of an Artist: Shaina McCoy
Kayden, 2019
Art - Staying Inspired With the Help of an Artist: Shaina McCoy
Isn’t She Lovely? 2020
Art - Staying Inspired With the Help of an Artist: Shaina McCoy
Portrait of the Artist, Photography by Jaime Candia



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