Spring Campaign 2022 Featuring: Darrell Mckinney

Published: June 7, 2022

Categories: Featured | Spring Campaign

This Spring, we’re raising $65,000 for Washington State artists! Since the beginning of the pandemic, we have raised and distributed over $1.4 million to hundreds of Washington State artists, and reached thousands more through programming and resources. Your gift today, in any amount, will help us continue to provide critical support and resources for artists. Help us reach our goal and make your gift before June 30!  

As part of our Spring Fundraising Campaign, we are interviewing Washington State artists about the ways they have embraced change during the pandemic and what support from Artist Trust has meant for them. This week, we spoke with Pierce County multidisciplinary artist and 2022 Greg Kucera & Larry Yocom Fellowship Award recipient, Darrell McKinney about the effect of the pandemic on his work and his hopes for Washington State artist My hope for the future of artists in Washington State is the continued growth of an arts scene throughout WA and a greater sense of community between artists of all levels, working and established artists. 


Read his full interview below! 



Tell us a little about your work/artistic practice. 

My practice lies in objects and the built environment. I am a designer/sculptor exploring place, culture, and history through objects and space. My background in design informs the art and the lens through which I create. The space the object resides in, the materiality of an object, and process all can be understood as methods of communication. 

What have the last two years been like for you and your artistic practice? How have you and/or your work changed in the pandemic?  

The last couple years have been difficult and interesting. Think it can be summarized by a lot of adapting to the new. 
Early into the pandemic everything came to a halt. No inperson shows and most places closed. I remember having a few conversations with other artists I know, who predominantly work in physical media, about what this could mean for the future and potentially switching over to digital media in the meantime.  
“Is it the right time to be creating?” was a question I genuinely struggled with during this time. I really had to sit down and reevaluate what I wanted to do with my practice. At the same time, I had to relocate my studio which always feels like a project in itself.  
Once I came to a conclusion, I just spent more time making. I am lucky enough that the pandemic did not necessarily change what I do, but it did make me reevaluate my practice and the validity of the work.



What are your hopes for the future of artists in Washington State? What would an ideal world look like for artists?  

My hope for the future of artists in Washington State is the continued growth of an arts scene throughout WA and a greater sense of community between artists of all levels, working and established artists.  
Opening lines of communications between artists and galleries/museums/institutions is relevant now as well. The pandemic still makes inperson meetings and shows difficult, so if more institutions/galleries/artists could reach out just to connect with people locally, I think that could be beneficial. Something simple, just to compliment or spotlight their work. The possibility to collaborate or present new opportunities would be great as well. 
An ideal world for artists would be one where each individual’s practice is one where artists are given the appropriate space to create and the intended audience can engage with it. Also, one where the practice is sustainable financially and not as precarious.  



What did the support from Artist Trust’s Fellowship Award mean to you? What did you do with the support?

The support from Artist Trust’s Fellowship Award has been great. It is always nice to be reaffirmed in what you have been doing. With the support, it allowed me to expand my tool library a bit and gave me the leeway to experiment a little more with materials and processes and not need to get it right on the first attempt.


How is Artist Trust’s work important to Washington State artists, especially at this moment in history? Why should people support Artist Trust as donors now? 

I think the work Artist Trust is doing to help sustain Washington State artists during this turbulent time is crucial to the ongoing preservation of the artist community here. Artists are struggling as it is in Washington outside of the pandemic.  
Donors should continue to support Artist Trust in order to continue to grow the arts here in Washington.