Sean S. McGraw
Artist, Sculptor, Illustrator
Artist Sean S. McGraw spent his childhood drawing soldiers, sailors, conquistadors, and Indians. His early interest in American History and Florida History was fostered by a wonderful colonial reenactor; a school teacher; a fascinating family history; and the many hours spent playing at the site of a Second Seminole War battle in his neighborhood. Throughout his childhood, McGraw spent much of his time reading adventure stories, sculpting, painting, studying military history, drawing (much to the dismay of his school teachers), creating uniforms and re-enacting with his friends’ battles from American history. It was during his early years, McGraw began his lifelong passion of telling stories of history through art. Early on McGraw also realized his passion and reverence for realism and classical art. He soon found that the style and techniques of the artists he so admired (Walter Baumhofer, Saul Tepper, Howard Pyle, Frank Schoonover...) were practically lost to time and it seemed impossible to find guidance in rural Florida in the early 1990’s. His initial artistic training was studying books in the school and local library, emulating the works of Howard Pyle, N.C. Wyeth, Frank Schoonover, and Fredrick Remington. (Growing up in Florida during the 1980’s and 90’s artistic training in the traditional, classical style was very hard to find) He continued to work on his own, piecing together bits of artistic information as he found them. Though a difficult journey his steadfast beliefs and standards in classical artistic training did not waver. He continued to seek out classical training and when a middle school dedicated to the arts was established near him, he assembled a portfolio containing his sculptures of civil war soldiers, paintings, drawings of adventure heroes and auditioned for acceptance into the new school. At only 12 years old McGraw defended his art in front of a jury and was awarded a spot in the inaugural class. McGraw went on to graduate from top national art schools in both the Middle School of the Arts and A.W. Dreyfoos (High) School of the Arts despite resistance against his adhering to his focus of traditional classical 19th century techniques and historical subjects.
McGraw’s desire to study classical techniques in a historical setting materialized in his acceptance on portfolio scholarship to the Savannah College of Art and Design. McGraw spent his years in Savannah and Atlanta studying the cities historical monuments and sites as a major focus of his work. Also during his time at SCAD, McGraw was introduced to Mr. D. Jeffery Mims and Mims Studios (now the Academy of Classical Design) where McGraw would briefly continue his artistic training after being awarded a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Painting from SCAD in 2008. From the Academy of Classical Design, McGraw returned to South Florida and opened a studio in the Harvey Building in West Palm Beach. He taught privately as well as classes in drawing and painting at the Armory. He also became the drawing and painting instructor at Martin County High School and helped other young artists with classical instruction and direction. After some time, teaching and developing his own work, McGraw realized a lifelong dream to attend the National Academy of Design. He was awarded a prestigious scholarship and was offered a studio space at the academy on 89th Street. The National Academy, having the historic legacy of the greatest American art had also been more recently where Ron Tunison, one of McGraw’s most influential artists, had studied. McGraw worked for a foundry in Brooklyn New York while he studied sculpture at The National Academy under Wei, Ingo Appel and Sabin Howard and at The Arts Students League, learning the process of mold making and casting using French Sand and the lost wax method. Sean S. McGraw has been on multiple occasions awarded a residency through the National Parks Arts Foundation to work from the collections at Gettysburg National Military Park, and has been featured in “The Civil War News” and other publications. These days McGraw works from his studio in Hobe Sound Florida not far from where he began his childhood interests in history and arts many years ago.
- "Home". Sean S. McGraw - Sculpture. Retrieved 2018-04-25.
- "Sculpture, Sean S. McGraw and Baltimore Native, Artist, Paul DeRemigis". King James Galleries. Retrieved 2018-04-25.
- "Sean McGraw | SCAD Art Sales". SCAD Art Sales. Retrieved 2018-04-25.
- News-Post, For the Frederick. "New Artist-in-Residence at Gettysburg". The Frederick News-Post. Retrieved 2018-04-25.
- News, EIN (2016-07-13). "Artist Sean McGraw Sculpts Real History at Gettysburg Battlefields". EIN News. Retrieved 2018-04-25.
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