You just never know what volunteering can lead to—take Dan McAvey for example. The former Maple Grove resident first connected with the Maple Grove Arts Center when he enrolled there in a photography class. He later volunteered at the Arbor Lakes Art Fair in 2017 and started regularly volunteering at the arts center. He now teaches classes and serves as the adult education director and member of the Board of Directors.
McAvey, a painter, loves helping students connect with art in ways that remove some of the perceived barriers to creating beautiful objects. He teaches over a dozen different courses. “It is a lot of fun to help students grow in their own artistic practice over a period of months and years,” he says.
McAvey grew up in Maple Grove and graduated from Osseo Senior High, and his art focuses on landscape and still life subjects. His focus is to capture the influences of light and weather. His artworks in oil and acrylic are influenced by impressionism and rooted in traditional methods of representation.
Though most of his work is representational, McAvey also does a lot of acrylic pouring. Working in this way provides an opportunity to exercise a different part of his creative mind. He’s inspired by impressionist art and follows the work of current artists, including Hester Berry, Christopher Long and Neil Carroll.
McAvey has several paintings at the Maple Grove Arts Center, and he was named the Emerging Artist of the Year at the 2018 Arbor Lakes Art Fair. Additionally, his work has been shown at the Hopkins Center for the Arts and at Manifest Gallery in Cincinnati, Ohio.