Local artist uses old materials to create new art
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There is something almost old-world about the art in the EWU’s current gallery exhibition, “A Look Back,” by Spokane artist Dan McCann. Natural fibers mix with mechanical odds and end. Various boxes, mounted on walls and sitting on tables, display a sort of colorful menagerie one might expect to see in a dusty old thrift shop, or perhaps in a grandmother’s attic.
Many of the materials that make up McCann’s art actually are from thrift shops. Others are found, sometimes on the side of the road or in an alleyway.
Often, his inspiration comes from taking these pieces, seemingly random and unconnected, and making them into a coherent story.
“I call it arbitrary order. I take arbitrary objects and make order out of it,” McCann said.
Nancy Hathaway, EWU art professor and gallery director, first came in contact with McCann through the Saranac Art Projects in Spokane.
“Dan McCann’s intuitive method of working, coupled with his use of found materials, results in works that run the gamut from serious and profound to weird and witty,” said Hathaway. “His work delves deeply into materials and the intuitive process of making.
While McCann is a self-taught artist, his work is by no means naive. He is well versed in art history with works that reference Joseph Beuys, John Cage and Joseph Cornell. The exhibition gives students an opportunity to see works by the artist that span more than 25 years.”
McCann has worked at Nordstrom as a custodian for the past 25 years, but he is hoping to retire soon and focus more heavily on his art.
“I’m really looking forward to just doing art full-time,” McCann said.