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 Grainger McKoy  (1947 - )

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Lived/Active: South Carolina      Known for: sculptor-carved birds

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from Auction House Records.
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This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Grainger McKoy grew up near Sumter, South Carolina in a family of modest means but with strong convictions about how to live life. After his father died when he was only nine he was raised by his mother who encouraged his artistic curiosity by taking him to art classes a few hours from home and bringing him to the Library of Congress to look at John James Audubon paintings of birds.

His love of three-dimensional objects led him to study architecture at Clemson University. When he realized the disparity between the study and practice of architecture he changed his major to biology.

After graduation McKoy was still uncertain of a career path when he met another great influence in his life, Gilbert Maggione. Maggione carved birds and took McKoy on as an apprentice. The two visited museums studying the great works of American art.

McKoy sold his first work for $75.00 and never looked back. In 1974 he had a show at the American Museum of Natural History in New York. His work continued to evolve as he later created carvings of groups of birds and some say his signature piece, "Least Bittern" consisting of a painted wood water bird suspended upside down from the leaf blade of a reed and that looks down at the birds own reflection in the water below.

McKoy has turned to working with bronze, to achieve lightness, he uses a special vacuum casting method that allows him to get the thin, crisp detailing he wants on his birds.

Source: Wildlife Art, March 2005

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