Andy McConnell was born and raised in the Pacific Northwest. From and early age he identified with artists who inspired him, such as Mark Tobey, George Tsutakawa, Alexander Calder and Henry Moore. Throughout primary school, he would imitate their work (and others) while doodling in the margins of homework and tests. Later, in high school, he regularly skipped all his classes to work in the art room, often staying late into the evening, well after school had ended.
While a student at Fairhaven College he studied poetry and art with the poet, Robert Sund during an multi semester independent study project and interviewed elder Northwest Art luminaries Mary Randlett, Guy Anderson, Bill Cumming, Lisel Salzer and William Radcliff for an oral history class.
While most of his working life has been spent in some facet of the construction trades, he augmented his budget in college working in both the front and back of restaurants. There, his interest in what different people have in common grew. Ever curious about their inner workings and how they relate with one another he went on to earn a master’s degree in Applied Behavioral Science at Bastyr University.
Throughout his life, his love for art and the Pacific Northwest have remained consistent and at its core his work and material provenance are connected to this place. His pieces are most often abstract: non-representational metaphors of the inner human landscape exploring themes of identity, accident, balance, and difference. Craft is key to his work, a habit stemming from years spent working as a carpenter.
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