Seven artists won scholarships to attend the 2nd Annual Figurative Art Convention & Expo (FACE) last year. One of the recipients was McGarren Flack, Assistant Professor of Art Painting/Drawing and Art Foundation Coordinator for Dixie State University Department of Art. In this exclusive Q&A, McGarren tells us about his artistic path, including how his art has changed over time and one of his biggest challenges.
Figurative Art Spotlight / Q&A
Cherie Dawn Haas: How and why did you first begin your artistic path?
McGarren Flack: I started in college. I was planning on becoming a doctor and had to take an art class for general education. I didn’t like the teacher but I loved drawing. I wasn’t so good at it but because of my love I feel like I was able to cultivate my skills.
CDH: Was there a specific media or subject matter that drew you in?
MF: I have always enjoyed painting with oil and drawing with charcoal, mostly because they are traditionally used as a solid art form. I love the diversity I can create with both media. In terms of subject matter, the figure is most appealing to me because I can relate to the human connection and strive to project that in my art.
CDH: How has your art changed over time?
MF: I use to paint beautiful women walking down the street or sitting there enjoying coffee. But for me that felt too “on the surface” and I wanted to create pieces that have more meaning. So I changed directions and now create art pieces with people in their most vulnerable state of being. I paint picture of various emergency scenes that I have been on as a Paramedic; this provides an awesome sense of closure and connection with other humans.
CDH: What is one of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way? And how have you overcome it?
MF: It is pretty hard to sell art that the general public does not want to hang in their house. But I keep moving forward, trying to find a balance between creating art that I enjoy and creating art that the public would enjoy. But I think for my current artistic direction it feels more like a duty for me to create art of various EMS scenes. So I am not so worried about the latter thought.
CDH: How did you originally hear about FACE?
MF: I saw it while searching some info about various figurative artists. I liked the artists I saw and wanted to attend and hopefully learn some good concepts and meet new people.
CDH: What’s the most important thing you learned or experienced at FACE?
MF: Networking. There were fun after-parties that a select few were invited to, which is fine. I actually liked that I wasn’t invited to these parties because it forced me to get to know other people that I would not have met before. I met and networked with about 30 different people, all of which were talented and interesting people. So I am glad for the experience and the opportunity to meet and greet so many people from around the world.