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 Nathan McClain  (1973 - 1997)

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Lived/Active: Missouri/Illinois      Known for: large-scale mural, illustrator

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Nathan McClain
An example of work by Nathan McClain
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This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Nathanial Allen McClain was born August 6, 1973 to David and and Lynn McClain. He was an only child and was raised in Granite City, Illinois, near St. Louis, Missouri. From as early as four years old, McClain began showing talent as an artist and created his own custom "greeting cards" that he would share with his family. His mother, Lynn, was an artist and was a major influence and encourager of Nathan's abilities.

As he went through school, McClain's artistic creativity continued to expand and he won numerous art awards. He had a natural fun-loving spirit and a charisma that made him popular.

Nathan McClain attended Southwest Missouri State University (SMSU) in Springfield, Missouri, joined the Delta Chi Fraternity, and in 1995 obtained a Bachelors of Fine Arts degree with an emphasis in Illustration.

In late 1993, his mother Lynn died after a short 4-month battle with cancer. Lynn was her son's biggest supporter, and her sudden passing profoundly affected Nathan as well as his artwork. His color choices became darker and his themes harsher.

After completing his art degree, Nathan McClain spent some time in the Northeast and he returned to live in the Art Lofts of downtown St. Louis. While in this environment, he continued to produce artwork and his loft apartment became a major gathering party spot.1997 was a banner year for Nate. He put together an art showing with other Art Loft artists, he traveled to New York City, he took a road trip to California, and in late August he began interviewing for illustration positions.

He attended the wedding of two SMSU college friends in Louisiana, Missouri on September 6th. Shortly after the wedding reception, Nathan and some others were going to dive off a nearby bridge into the Mississippi river (it was after midnight). Nathan, a certified lifeguard, was the first to dive and he never surfaced. Authorities later found his body downstream.

Nathanial Allen McClain died at the age of 24 on September 7, 1997 leaving behind a vast amount of artwork.

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