Joe McGee Art

Welcome to my site. 

Here are some new works from 2024. I am in a Surrealist/Spiritual bent with my recent work. I am using oil paints again for the first time in decades, like what has been happening as a result!

New: I will be exhibiting in December of this year at Kore Gallery, located here in Louisville, a sort of soft retro as I approach age 70. :) 

Also, in honor of my late teacher, friend and mentor, sculptor Sam Richards, I have agreed with Sam's estate and Kore Gallery to have 12 of his sculptures exhibited in the same large gallery space I will be using for my retro. For more on Sam Richards (here he was in his studio, just a great artist and man, he died so young, only 48), his life and work, visit:
Here a some works from the last months of 2023! I have been using oil paints these past months.
Above, and below next 3 images: The exhibit with my dad installed at Mount Saint Francis, IN. A beautiful campus and gallery, 400 acres of hiking trails used by many in the region.
I am pleased to announce I will be exhibiting in a 2 person exhibit with my father, KY Folk Artist Hagan McGee, 1927-2017, again (we had exhibited together in 2003 at the KY Folk Art Museum)! This will be the first time our family has exhibited his art since his passing. I am showing 9 works from my recent Tree Series along with 9 of dad's paintings, selected from his huge catalogue of work he left his family. The exhibit opens July 27 at The Mary Anderson Center, Mount Saint Francis, IN, with a opening reception, 6PM.

Here is a link to the Mount Saint Francis webpage with info on the exhibit:
Below, 2 of dad's paintings that will be in the exhibit, then 2 of mine. It is fun for me to show with him again, especially on the theme of trees! We will have 9 works each in the exhibit.
Below: A Series on Trees,  begun early in 2023, now completed, will show soon.

Feb., 2023, I finally move on from Frida (not so easy for me). In the past few months, I have begun a new series, Trees/Light/Shadows, using pure colors applied quickly with a series of pallet knives. I have about 30 good ones so far, so I now move on.

My exhibit at Quappi Projects opens Friday, June 17, 2022, I hope to be there 4-7pm, see you there!

Below: Here are 4 pics of the installation this past Monday. Quappi Projects gallery owner John Brooks had the cool idea to hang all of the works, or 44 out of 47, on the one long wall of the gallery. It was like building a puzzle, but it turned out great. I began the series in 2012, working on it off and on for the past ten years. It is all over for with my Frida thing after this showing! :)

"In Search of Faith", Through April 15th, 2022, 2022
I am showing a series of 20 Spiritually based works (including one collaborative work with Penny Sisto) at the Mary Anderson Center for Art, Mount St. Francis Center for Spirituality. Located just across the Ohio River from Louisville in the knobs above New Albany, IN, Mt. St. Francis is a unincorporated community, used as a retreat center and a residence for members of the Conventual Franciscans, but is also utilized daily by any who like to walk or hike on the many trails of the 400 acre campus. The art gallery sits above a beautiful lake in the valley bellow.

For more, visit:

Below, the reception was a lot of fun, though an intense winter snow storm was taking place that evening. Thanks to all who came! :)

And then an upcoming Exhibit in June-July of 2022: I will show my entire Frida Kahlo series at Quappi Projects gallery of Louisville, dates to come soon.

Below and on the next page are examples of the Frida series.
Top above: 7 new Frida Kahlo inspired works from October to December, 2021. Why my obsession with Frida Kahlo in my latest series? I was born in 1954, the year Frida died, so that's a start! I will show the entire Frida Series next Fall of 2022 at Quappi Projects Gallery, Louisville. Dates to come soon!

For more on this series, see next page.

Below, and next page: You will notice my intense, almost cult like fascination with the famous Mexican painter/spirit Frida Kahlo. I found her in a library when I was just beginning art in the mid 1970s. Over the decades my admiration has grown, I adore her art, her life, her legacy.

Above: Mock-up of trilogy, Diego and the 2 Fridas, I will show my series in the Fall of 2022 at Quappi Projects , Louisville, KY.

Below:2 new small Frida inspired mixed media collaged works, 10-2020
Above: 2 new small Frida inspired mixed media collaged works, 10-2020

Just below: New work, 11-2020, Frida Holding Rosary 4.5'x6", mixed media on canvas, $2,000.00
2nd below: Frida in Body Cast, mixed media collage on canvas, 2021, 36"x36", $1,000.00
3rd below: A Thorn (Covid) is Pulled by Frida, oil on canvas, 4'x3', $2,500.00
Below, New Work, 2020
1st below: Detail of collaged b/w print on art paper, mouned to the canvas, 2021
2nd below: Reaching Figure, Ocean Eddy, oil on canvas, 30"x24", Sold
3rd below: , Mother and Child in Garden, 4'x3', oil on canvas, $800, now at Edenside Gallery, Louisville, KY

New Frida Kahlo work, see next page, May, 2020
Below: Frida Bathing, 8'x4', May 2020, mixed media collage on vinyl, $1,200
Next: detail of photocopy face of Frida from web, altered by me on the large painting.
Below: some new work from late 2019, then into 2020!
1. Alice, 30"x24", NFS
3. Ky Champion is Born, 4'x3', oil on canvas, $1,200, Gift to KY Derby Museum in memory of Marylou Whitney.
4. Young Foal, 18"x18", acrylic on canvas, $800
5. Self Portrait, 4'x2', mixed media collage on canvas, $1,200
December, 2018, Thomas Merton has ended! Thanks so much to All involved!
Wow, what a Blast!
Penny Sisto and I held our Opening Reception Friday, Nov. 30th. It was packed, so many spoke of Merton, of our art. Poet Lynnell Edwards had the crowd spellbound as she read midway 2 Merton poem's, one she wrote, one by him.

Beautiful Experience!

We hope you get a chance to see the show, it is up all of December, McGrath Gallery, off Norris Ave. at back of Bellarmine University campus, handicap restrooms right beside gallery, open weekends, in another week parking becomes very easy when semester ends. Come by, and walk down a bit to the Thomas Merton Center at Bellarmine (the Merton Center was host for this exhibit, thanks Paul and Mark!) in the University Library.
Happy News: 5-19-2018
      I am so pleased to announce that I will be doing a 2 person exhibit on Thomas Merton with the fabulous fiber artist Penny Sisto at Bellarmine University's McGrath Gallery, in conjunction with The Thomas Merton Center at Bellarmine University. The exhibit is titled Searching for Thomas Merton: An Artistic Tribute, 1098-2018.

And More Happy News: 9-2018
Noted author/poet, Lynnell Edwards, will do a reading of poetry at the reception on Nov. 30th. Of course, Merton was an outstanding poet! Lynnell's addition to the exhibit will honor this vital part of Merton's being. Penny, all the folks at the Merton Center at Bellarmine University and I can't be happier about this late addition

Lynnell Edwards

Lynnell Edwards

Author's Website

Lynnell Major Edwards is the author of three full-length collections of poetry, The Farmer's Daughter (2003), The Highwayman's Wife (2007), and Covet (2011) all from Red Hen Press. Most recently her chapbook Kings of the Rock and Roll Hot Shop was released by Accents Publishing (2014). Her work has appeared on Verse Daily and in numerous literary journals, including Poems & Plays, Southern Poetry Review, Smartish Pace, The Los Angeles Review, Kestrel, and River Styx. She is a regular reviewer for Pleiades, Rain Taxi, and American Book Review and her short fiction has been published in literary journals such as New Madrid and the Connecticut Review. She lives in Louisville, Kentucky, where she is Associate Professor of English at Spalding University. She received her doctorate in English at the University of Louisville, her undergraduate degree at Centre College in Kentucky, and is the recipient of a 2007 Al Smith Fellowship from the Kentucky Arts Council. She is also associate director of Louisville Literary Arts. a non-profit literary arts organization which sponsors the monthly InKY reading series in Louisville, Ky and The Writer's Block Festival.

       Our exhibit at Bellarmine will be part of the larger Merton Celebration here in Louisville this Fall/Winter. The Living Legacy of Thomas Merton, which has now opened at KyCAD (The Kentucky College of Art and Design) is a fascinating grouping of 14 artist/writer/poets.
Both invites below:
Or visit for a full listing of Merton events here in Louisville:

Top: Merton holds a mock burial for John Paul at Gethsemani: 2018, 6'x4', acrylic on canvas

2nd above: Monk in Burial Shroud, collage, tape, acrylic on canvas, 19"x9""

3rd above: Mother Catherine Spalding Welcomes the Peace Bird, 18"x12", 2018

4th above: Merton at His Ordination, April, 2018, 30"x24", acrylic on canvas

5th image above:: Merton beside his hermitage at Gethsemani Abbey, 30"x60", now part of the collection of The Merton Center at Bellarmine University, Louisville, KY.

A Very Cool Collaboration with Fiber Artist Penny Sisto for the Fall 2018 Merton Fest!

Penny Sisto has made a beautiful, mirror image textile work of my painting below. The 2 works will make up the wings of a planned altar piece that will honor Thomas Merton. Penny, such a gifted artist! Wow!

January 17, 2018, a new work, 48"x30", acrylic on canvas. Inspired by Thomas Merton, the Mother Figure hears of his passing on Dec. 10,1968

Next: Penny has just finished here textile, working off of my painting, her work will form the left panel of the altar, my painting the right

3rd. The completed work installed at KyCAD
New 6-2019,
Regarding all
Hagan McGee Art

Note: My brother David now has dad's entire collection that he left us!

Stay tuned for contact info after collection archived properly

My site also has 2 pages on the KY Folk Art of my father, Hagan McGee
James Hagan McGee, b.1927, d. Dec. 19, 2017           
We are sad to loose our dad, artist Hagan McGee passed away Dec. 19, 2017, just past the age of 90. Such a good father, he is in heaven now!

Below: Dad at Galerie Hertz, 2010 or so, in front of some of his Folk sculpture he was showing there.

Next: Woman with Chickens, 2000s, 11"x14"

Below: The Transformation of Thomas Merton, mixed media on wood, 1994-2017, 4'x30"

2nd: Detail of The Transformation of Thomas Merton
Here I am, the Happy Artist!
Below: At Bernheim Forest, KY, 2017, photo by my daughter Tasha, a beautiful day there, here I stand in front of the Sky Bridge!
About the Artist: Me

Joe McGee (me), b. 1954. I received my BFA in Sculpture from the University of Louisville in 1986. I have now been making art for well over 35 years. Please take a look at some of my work on this site. Enjoy!

Below: My working wall in my studio, pic a few years old now, but I look the same now as a creaky 62 year old artist. No more sculpture, but I can still paint!

Images above, top: In my studio maybe 2010 or so.

Next: And as a young art student at the Hite Art Institute, University of Louisville in perhaps 1983 or so, age 29. I did not go on to college until I was age 24, having worked in construction for 7 years. I received my BFA in Sculpture in 1986. Always ready for a soccer game, here I sit on one of my sculptural creations. My daughter Tasha drew on the photo as a infant! :) Oh, I thought I was so grand in my youth!

3 Generations of McGee Art

My site also includes a couple pages on the work of my father, folk painter Hagan McGee, still painting daily in heaven! Bless you Dad!

And, I have a page on the Fiber Art of my daughter, Tasha McGee, as well!

The 3 of us had an exhibit at Spalding University in 2011, Three Generations of McGee Art!

Below: Tasha, my father Hagan and me down at dad's birthplace, Manton, KY, summer of 2016. His final trip down to his beloved birthplace. He passed Dec., 2017, age 90.

My just finished Exhibit, For the Children of Flowers, ran June thru July, 2017
My Swanson Contemporary exhibit, For the Children of Flowers, ended July 30, 2017. Thanks, so much fun!

Above: Morning sun hits the front of Swanson Contemporary Gallery, Louisville, KY, in early July, 2017, as the exhibit began.

Image below: 1960 photo by our mom, Grace Jane Breitenstein McGee, her first 3 children read in our magical back yard in the now gone Prestonia area of Louisville, flowers, crop garden, fruit trees and berries everywhere! Left to right, the artist, brothers Steve and Bill. I am sure we were wrestling soon after this tranquil photo was taken by mom! :)

For the Children of Flowers
Paintings by Joe McGee

            Why flowers? Well, I have always been drawn to them. I grew up here in Louisville with my brothers and sisters surrounded by flowers. My mother Grace (and her mother and her mother before) had flower beds everywhere it seemed. The different colors, shapes and textures fascinated me as a child. And more importantly, we learned early on that flowers were a source of food for insects and birds, and that they in turn pollinated the vegetables and fruit trees my father (along with my maternal grandfather) raised in our large back yard garden. Flowers, beautiful and necessary, a gift for us all from the heavens above as we share this planet together. So here, I attempt to capture, from my mind (these are all imagined works), the beauty and mystery of flowers!
            As a lifelong Louisvillian, it is a pleasure to show my take on the time-honored genre of Floral Paintings at Swanson Contemporary. I must admit, when I first began this series at the end of 2016, I had Chuck‚Äôs place (with its cool large storefront windows facing Market Street) in mind. And symbolically to me, this section of downtown Louisville, which once thrived as an important agricultural business center/gathering place for the farmers of the region, connects to my own family history. The old Haymarket complex, now long gone, was located only blocks away. There for decades, farmers such as my grandfather, Herman Breitenstein, sold their crops in the huge market complex. And they bought their seeds each year at Bunton Seed, another of the many agricultural supply businesses also formerly located nearby. Most are now long gone, relegated to the history books of Louisville. So, my flowers are a perfect fit at Swanson Gallery, right at home on E. Market Street, part the former bustling center of agricultural life here in Louisville!

            Finally, I created this series to honor my parents (Grace Jane and James Hagan McGee) for showing their children the amazing beauty of the natural world we all shared together in our large back yard. There, the many flower beds, fruit trees and the huge vegetable garden taught us that the things we grew were not only beautiful, but connected and vital for our lives. I thank my good parents for the flowers they have given their children!

Above, top:  Monk with Flowers", 30"x30", 2017
Next above: "Flowers for Grace", 48"x36", 2017, SOLD

Below: Blue Vase, Ochre Walls, one of my flower works currently at Edenside Gallery, Louisville, 30"x30"
Bottom: Flowers in Clay Pot, acrylic on canvas, 30"x24", 2017


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