Born in Norwalk, Connecticut / Lives and works in metropolitan Kansas City
Art McSweeney was born on the East Coast and moved to the Midwest at the age of seven. The fourth of five children, he is the son of second-generation, Irish-American Catholics whose social consciences were formed by their experiences during The Great Depression, World War II, and the social reforms of the 1950’s and 60’s. They imparted a deep respect for cultural diversity and an unceasing curiosity about the world and its peoples.
Art began the serious study and practice of visual art during his sophomore year at Boston College. In drawing and painting classes, he was introduced to the expressive possibilities of visual form. At the same time, he was enrolled in Art History Survey and in that course, saw the confluence of the social, cultural, and political currents he was studying in all his other courses. This made a profound impression on him. After receiving his Bachelor of Arts degree in 1983, he went on for further study at the University of Kansas, earning a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in 1985. From the fall of 1988 through the spring of 1990, Art was a Graduate Teaching Fellow at the University of North Texas, where he taught beginning drawing and figure drawing, earning his Master of Fine Arts degree in 1990.
Through what he calls a “semi-automatic process,” Art creates visual hybrids referencing comic and cartoon media, politics, religion, technology, science, and art history. Immersed in the currents of contemporary culture, he produces conceptually dense pictures that offer small windows onto an anxious, troubled, and marvelous world.