Holly Ann McCabe

Artist Statement

I see what tends to be left unseen. Insights. Perceptions. Sensations. This idea has followed me throughout my art-making, which rebounds from my previous representational portraiture. As an alternative to the externality of an outright mirror, the reflection in this new work comes from within. I instill comfort, nostalgia, nature, and memory as I literally and figuratively peel, tear, sew, stretch, and shield various formal abstract elements. It is at times delicate. It is at times heavy. It is raw. It is tactile. It manifests as line-based compositions, sculptural relief, series-based installation, and objects in space. I flirt with texturally rich, visceral, strange, yet familiar surfaces, akin to muslin bed sheets, fur scraps, ephemeral draperies, or a favorite wool sweater. These things beg to be touched. Beg to be loved. But may also invoke a need to recoil and retreat. It is this strange yet balanced dichotomy that I find fascinating. Self-preservation. Self-destruction. And here I remain, hovering comfortably amid their respective orbits.

Artist Biography

Holly McCabe is a current resident of Rhinebeck, New York, as a multimedia artist and educator indulging in material crossovers, combinations, and transformations. From sewing fabrics, molding and pulling pliable bits over wired armature, painting onto board and canvas, and manipulating pixels in the digital world, Holly explores the idea of what comprises surface, as well as what lies beneath. These explorations translate into various incarnations of what it is to be human, jointly viewed through the categorical lenses of realism, expressionism, abstraction, and formalism. Yet at its most basic level, it is raw emotion thrust into the visceral, unfiltered act of creation.

From seasoned student to maturing artist, Holly graduated with a BA in Art History and Studio Art from Gettysburg College in 1999, a BFA in Fine Art from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2000, an MA in Painting from SUNY New Paltz in 2005, and an interdisciplinary MFA from the Massachusetts College of Art and Design in 2016. Holly initially worked as a high school art teacher from 2002-2013, and is currently thrilled to be a full time Assistant Professor of Visual Arts at Dutchess Community College in Poughkeepsie, New York, specializing in 2D design, graphic design, drawing, fashion illustration, animation, and web design. Though her personal work initially held a concentration in traditional drawing and painting, Holly currently focuses on fiber arts, textiles, and large scale soft sculpture installation spaces. Holly's fabric sculptures, encaustic work, idiosyncratic clothing designs, and self-portraits continue to be a staple feature at a variety of boutique shops and galleries around the Hudson Valley.

MFA Thesis Statement *.pdf available for download