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 Trailer McQuilkin  (1947 - )

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Lived/Active: Mississippi/Louisiana      Known for: environmental sculpture-botanic subjects, flowers

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Ad Code: 4
Trailer McQuilkin
from Auction House Records.
Iris Vernal
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
This biography from the Archives of AskART:
An environmental sculptor of pieces with wildflowers in their habitat, Trailer McQuilkin began his career creating displays for Tiffanys in New York City.  He has also done commission pieces including twenty sculptures for the Longue Vue House in New Orleans and a forty-two piece collection for Callaway Gardens in Pine Mountain, Georgia.

His pieces, which take about two months to complete, are made from copper wire and copper sheets and include natural materials such as sticks, stones, pinecones and acorns, and then he adds color with metal primer and oil.  The pieces usually represent the full cycle of "bud, bloom and seed and the ground litter of the environment reflects the canopy of the natural habitat".

Morris & Whiteside Galleries, Auction Catalogue, October 29, 2004

Biography from Morris & Whiteside Galleries:
Trailer McQuilkin is a leading American environmental sculptor.  Since 1972, when he produced displays for Tiffany's in New York City, McQuilkin has created phenomenal collections of indigenous, rare and/or endangered plant sculptures that are spellbinding for both botanists and collectors.

McQuilkin's first gallery exposure had been with the Joe DeMers Gallery on Hilton Head Island in 1971 and, on the heels of his successful presentation at Tiffany's, the artist brought his work back to Harbor Town for a show with DeMers in 1974.  By that time, McQuilkin's exquisite creations of wildflowers in their natural habitat had attracted the attention of serious collectors and he was commissioned by Mrs. Edgar B. Stern to produce twenty pieces for the Longue Vue House and Gardens collection in New Orleans, Louisiana.  The project, which took 2-1/2 years, was followed by a twelve-piece collection for Louis and Judy Freeman of New Orleans and then, in 1992 Dean Day Smith (Sanders) commissioned the artist to create a forty-two-piece collection for Callaway Gardens in Pine Mountain, Georgia.

Careful observers will note that each piece usually presents the full cycle of bud, bloom and seed and the ground litter of the environment reflects the canopy of the natural habitat.

McQuilkin was born in 1947 in New Orleans, Louisiana.  He went through the 1960's as a High School surfer and entered college as a business major.  He soon realized that neither business nor college suited him so he began working as a photographer in 1969 and took a part time job with an artist who worked with tin. Trailer decided to try his own hand using copper.

Today, Trailer uses copper wire and copper sheets to create virtually every aspect of his unique sculptures. (Some natural materials, such as sticks, stones, pinecones and acorns are often added.) The colors are permanently rendered in metal primer and oil paints and each piece is created over a period of approximately two months from a living specimen.  If he misses the blooming period, the artist has to wait another year to acquire another plant.

Trailer McQuilkin's work has been exhibited at the Hunter Museum of Art, Chattanooga, Tennessee, New Orleans Museum of Art, Atlanta Botanical Gardens and the Walter Anderson Museum of Art, Ocean Springs, Mississippi and is included in the corporate collections of DuPont and Company, Wilmington, Delaware and Bell South, Atlanta, Georgia. Noted American artist, Andrew Wyeth, also includes a McQuilkin sculpture in his personal collection.

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