S E A N   S.   M c G R A W

BIO

Artist-Historian Sean S. McGraw spent his childhood drawing and making soldiers, conquistadors, and Indians.  His early interest in American History and Florida History were fostered by a wonderful reenactor/school teacher; a fascinating family lineage of military history; as well as many hours spent at the site of a Second Seminole War battle in his neighborhood.  Throughout his youth, McGraw spent hours sculpting, painting, studying military history, drawing (much to the dismay of his school teachers), creating uniforms and re-enacting with his friends.  It was during this formative time that McGraw started his lifelong journey of telling the stories of individuals and episodes of history through his art. At the same time McGraw realized his passion and reverence for realism and classical art.  He recognized early on artists whom he admired had used techniques and methods that were almost lost to time by the 1990’s. Classical training was certainly hard to find. So, undaunted McGraw set out alone.  His initial artistic training was studying and emulating the works of Howard Pyle, N.C. Wyeth, Frank Schoonover, Alphonse De Neuville and Fredrick Remington. His steadfast beliefs and standards in classical artistic training did not waver and have ever since shaped his artistic education and professional career. He continued to seek out classical training when a middle school dedicated to the arts was established near him, he assembled a portfolio containing his sculptures of civil war soldiers and paintings of historical episodes and was accepted into the new school.  McGraw went on to graduate from A.W. Dreyfoos (High) School of the Arts all the time 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 through his award of a scholarship to the Savannah College of Art and Design.  McGraw spent his years in Savannah 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 continue his artistic training.  From the Academy of Classical Design, McGraw returned to South Florida and opened a studio on Datura Street in West Palm Beach.  While supplementing his income as a house painter and faux finisher. He worked on private commissions as well as taught classes in drawing and painting at the Armory Center.  He became the drawing and painting instructor at Martin County High School and exposed young artists with classical instruction and college prep. After some time, teaching and developing his own work, McGraw realized a lifelong dream to attend the National Academy of Design to study sculpture.  He was awarded a prestigious scholarship and was given studio space at the old academy school on 89th Street.  While a NAD student McGraw worked for a foundry in Brooklyn learning the process of mold making and casting using French Sand and the lost wax method. At the National Academy, McGraw was fortunate to study under Wei, Ingo Appel and Sabin Howard.  During his time studying at the National Academy, McGraw established Historical Sculpture LLC, to bring the highest quality limited edition historical sculptures to the discerning historian and collector.  As a sculptor, 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.  McGraw creates works for public commissions as well as pieces that explore aspects of transitional South Florida and the Seminole Indians of the 19th and 20th century.  He runs his studio in Stuart Florida not far from where he began his childhood interests in history and arts many years ago.

 

 Artist Statement
 
 "My work is about my reverence for the past. Historical figures and episodes are what I sculpt.  Sculptural representation of a historical individual or "type" works to entice curiosity and capture a moment in time – part of a larger narrative which I constantly strive to revive. My Inspiration comes from documented and primary source history, as well as anthropological literature. My work allows me to explore and investigate. It is what I have dedicated my life to.  Watching and coaxing the clay to evolve, the nuanced artful representation of history, and looking forward to executing my next idea is what keeps me sculpting. I view my work as a success when I take from it something new that follows me into my next piece."

 

CV

 

 

 

 

  Education

 

National Academy of Design, New York, NY

Art Students League of New York, New York, NY

Florida Atlantic University, Boca Raton, FL (M. Ed.)

Grand Central Academy of Art, New York, NY

Academy of Classical Design, Southern Pines, NC

Intern, Exhibit Design, Big Cypress, FL (Seminole Tribe of FL, Ah-Tah-Thi-Ki Museum)

Assistant, Studio of Michael David (http://michaeldavidartist.com) Atlanta, GA

Savannah College of Art and Design, Savannah + Atlanta (BFA Painting 2008)

A.W. Dreyfoos School of the Arts (Class of 03')

Palm Beach County MSOA (Class of 99')

Professional Experience

County Public Art Inventory Advisor, Martin County AIPP, 2018-Present

Art Teacher - High school - Lincoln Park Academy, Ft. Pierce, FL  2018-Present

Owner, Historical Sculpture LLC.

Art Teacher Martin County High School, Stuart, FL 

Art Teacher John I. Leonard High School, Lake Worth, FL

Foundry Work, Beddi-Makky Foundry, Brooklyn, NY

Commissions/Awards

Martin County AIPP logo/branding design/creation

"Select 50 Award"  National Portrait Society, 21st Annual Competition 2019

Daniel Garber Book Cover art & interior Illustrations, “The Eye of the Seal” Paperback – July 19, 2018

Daniel Garber Book Cover art, “Ancestry and Autobiography of Daniel John Garber” Paperback – March 7, 2018

Lake Worth Pioneer Association Commission for Bronze Sculptural work on "Pioneer Plaza Monument" depicting scenes of early settlers along Lake Worth - Palm Beach County, Florida.

Gettysburg National Military Park (Through the generosity of the National Park Service The National Parks Arts Foundation) Artist In Residence July - August 2016

National Academy Museum, NY; SELF: Portraits of Artists in Their Absence; Winning Visitor Portrait Commission

 National Academy of Design, NY; Scholarship

 Martin County High School, Stuart, FL; Coat of arms creation

 Savannah College of Art and Design Portfolio Scholarship

 Visual Arts Dept. "Epiphany" Award A.W. Dreyfoos School of the Arts

 

 

 

 Exhibits

Martin Arts Council, "Beyond the Classroom" Exhibit, FL 2019

National Sculpture Society 86th Annual Awards Exhibition, SC 2019

Art League of Hilton Head 2019 Biennale, Hilton Head, SC 2019

 

​Gettysburg National Military Park, Artist in Residence, Gettysburg, PA 2018

SCAA National Juried Exhibition, Mabel House Arts Center, Mableton, GA 2017

Waging Peace, Florida State University Museum of Fine Arts, Tallahassee, FL 2018

History Meets the Arts - Featured Artist, King James Galleries, Gettysburg, PA 2017

Creative Mischief, National Academy School annual exhibit, National Academy, NY 2017

Philadelphia Museum of the Civil War/MOLLUS + Gettysburg event,

Gettysburg Visitor Center, Gettysburg, PA 2017

Visitor Center & Museum AiR Solo Exhibit, Gettysburg Visitor Center, Gettysburg, PA 2016

First Friday Exhibit,  National Park Service, Gettysburg Train Station, PA 2016

Creative Mischief,  National Academy School annual exhibit, National Academy, NY 2016

Perspectives of 13, Angel Orensanz Center, New York, NY 2016   

 

Small Works Sculpture Department exhibit, Sonia Gechtoff Gallery, National Academy, NY 2016

Emotion Discovery and Illusion group exhibit, Sonia Gechtoff Gallery, National Academy, NY 2016

Mid-Year exhibition, Sonia Gechtoff Gallery, National Academy, NY 2015

Martin County Arts Council Arts Festival, Stuart, FL 2015

Armory Art Center faculty exhibit, West Palm Beach, FL 2014

Art Atelier faculty exhibit, Miami, FL 2009

SCAD Visiting Artist (Michael David Signer) student exhibit, Atlanta, GA 2008

SCAD Painting Department group exhibit, Savannah, GA, 2007

SCAD Painting group exhibit, Alexander Hall Gallery, Savannah, GA, 2007

180 Gallery group exhibit, Savannah, Ga 2006

 

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Publications

National Sculpture Society Annual Awards Exhibit Catalogue, NSS, NY

Waging Peace Catalogue, FSU, Tallahassee, FL

Martin Arts Monthly, Summer - Fall 2018, Pg. 43, “Sean McGraw Artist in Residence at Gettysburg”

 

The Gettysburg Experience, June 2017 Issue

 

National Academy School, Creative Mischief, exhibit catalog, 2017

 

Civil War Dealer and Collectors Directory, 2017 Issue, Pg. 34

 

The Civil War News; September Issue, 2016

 

The Frederick News Post; VOL. 133, NO. 295, Pg. 47 (72 Hours, Pg. 19)   

 

Gettysburg Times;  VOL. 114, NO. 170, Pg. B8

 

National Parks Service Publication; "What's Happening in the Park" July - August 2016 Ppg. 12-13

 

Emotion Discovery and Illusion Between Art and Fashion; Maurizio Pelligrin, National Academy of Design, NY; Pg. 37

© 2020 by S. S. McGraw LLC.