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New portraits by McDonald on display for YC’s art exhibit ‘About Face’


Jerome artist J. Michael McDonald (Photo by Ron Chilston)

Jerome artist J. Michael McDonald (Photo by Ron Chilston)


Originally Published: February 23, 2022 10:02 a.m.

Artist J. Michael McDonald is getting his own show at Yavapai College.

A resident of Jerome for 27 years, McDonald turned to portraiture during COVID-19 shutdowns, trying to capture the effects of the unique circumstances on the human face.

His new exhibit, “About Face,” opens Feb. 24 with an artist’s reception from 5 to 7 p.m. in the Patty McMullen-Mikles Art Gallery in Building F on the Clarkdale campus, 601 Black Hills Drive.

“I was a little bit out of the game in fine art, so it’s a great opportunity for Yavapai College to do a show,” McDonald said.

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“The Meaning Crisis,” by J. Michael McDonald is part of a new exhibit coming to the art gallery at Yavapai College in Clarkdale. (Courtesy image)

He has 10 new pieces, with older works filling out the exhibit. “About Face,” he said, is mostly portraits of friends and neighbors and his interpretations of their expressions – “what we’re going through as a culture right now,” he said.

In recent years, the award-winning artist, who was a film set painter in Los Angeles, has done a lot of technical art through computer graphics and decorative home painting projects, such as faux finishes that are art pieces themselves. His work has been featured in national publications.

McDonald has always worked in a wide variety of media – “I’m not your traditional artist,” he said. His return to oil has helped him regain his confidence in fine art. It was not a vanity project; he said it was a way to express the emotions of the times.

He calls his style magical realism.

The show will be on exhibit for one month. The opening reception is free and open to the public. There will be complimentary small bites and wine for purchase by Southwest Wine Center.