Artist StatementMy art explores the power of images, words, and experiences to depict and reshape realities, sometimes juxtaposing antiquated techniques or objects with contemporary themes and issues. Examples include a zoetrope on climate change, a photo stand-in on income inequality, an edible pie chart on ethics in labor practices. My work has always been process driven, initially exploring material qualities: pouring things on to photo paper, successive doses of light, hand coloring, intervening as much as possible. Eventually, my passion for art and my background in economics merged to examine socioeconomic issues and ethical labor policies. For my first public art project (2001), I produced 1000 DVDs of an animation and gave them away on the streets. In 2002, I depicted labor through art using pinhole and time-lapse techniques to document workers on the job. Since 2015, I have built a barter network between artists and tradespeople (Trade4Art), and organized one-on-one meetings between artists and unemployed residents (Creative Baltimore Fund). At an Equal Justice Residency at the Santa Fe Art Institute (2018) I roamed an abandoned campus at night and engaged the graveyard shift security guards and homeless tenants. I teach in the Art Department at Georgetown University and live at Artists’ Housing Inc. in East Baltimore.
Bruce McKaig has been a visual artist for over thirty years, living in North and South America, Europe, and India. His practice includes photography, performance, sculpture, and Social Practices. He has been awarded numerous private and public grants and participated in over forty-five solo and two hundred group exhibitions since 1981. His photographs are in museum collections in the USA, France, and Guatemala.
Bruce also advocates for the arts through public speaking and publishing articles and op-eds on ethics in art funding and labor policies across industries.
Bruce has taught art with university students, the general public, senior citizens, autistic teenagers, and incarcerated psychiatric patients. He has over ten years experience in teaching children ages 5 through 12, and has offered classes in French and Spanish as well as in English.
His current practice combines his engagement with photography and his academic background in economics, weaving ideas and projects between new art practices and New Economy values. He was a 2016 Fellow with The New Economy Maryland (Institute for Policy Studies), the 2016 Crusade for Art Grant recipient (to build a barter network between artists and tradespeople), a 2017 Baltimore Office of Promotion and the Arts grant recipient (to connect artists and unemployed residents for one-on-one art projects), and a 2018 Resident Artist in the Equal Justice Residency at the Santa Fe Art Institute.
Bruce teaches photography in the Art Department at Georgetown University and lives at Artists’ Housing Inc. in East Baltimore.