About the Artist
One of seven children, Maura Kenny was born in Waterbury, Connecticut to very supportive parents. An active household was a catalyst for creativity. In youth she lived for opportunities to draw, paint, model, sculpt or assemble things. Family members were often coaxed into modeling for portraits and figurative paintings.
As a teenager, her first influential painting instructor and mentor was Blaine Cota Jr.; an abstract expressionist painter and historian who lived in an eighteenth century historic museum home in Litchfield, Connecticut. Over a five-year span of Blaine’s instruction, a strong foundation for her visual arts education including traditional oil painting methods and techniques infused with art historical precedent – was laid.
Kenny’s artwork finds its foothold in traditional painting technique that also engages contemporary thought, process and meaning. In recent years, she’s worked exclusively in watercolor media and mixed media:
“I find the transparent qualities of watercolor paint both beautiful and challenging. I feel my mixed media/ collaged paintings have been greatly inspired by the polychromatic, pattern, and textures of fabrics and quilts.
Undoubtedly, my grandmother is a direct influence … She was a wonderful seamstress who delighted me with beautiful handmade dresses of saturated colors, swoon-inducing patterns and layers of semi-transparent fabrics.” After receiving a BS in Art Education from Southern Connecticut State, Kenny’s career as a visual arts educator began in a rural Connecticut Elementary School. Later, graduate school brought her to the University of NC in Greensboro. She earned an MFA in Painting there. And then she embraced teaching a crazy variety of painting, drawing and art education courses at Coastal Carolina University for a few decades.
Kenny recently retired from Coastal and is now enjoying working in her home studio in Pawleys Island and showing her paintings at Island Art Gallery in the heart of Pawleys.
Maura Kenny’s work has been exhibited in regional, national and international juried exhibitions. Currently, an award-winning painting titled Red is touring with the SC Water Media Society’s traveling statewide show. Another painting titled Emerge has been juried into Artfields 2019 and will be on exhibit in Lake City, SC at the end of April.