Arts & Humanities Bainbridge and Bainbridge Arts & Crafts were delighted to honor printmaker Wes McClain with the Amy Award for Emerging Artists on May 14, 2015.

“We are excited about Wes because he really personifies the Andersons’ intentions behind the Amy Award,” said Susan Jackson, BAC Executive Director . “He is an excellent printmaker who began showing his work at BAC when he was just in the ninth grade, and he became one of our ‘real’ artists when he was a senior. Throughout his college career at Rhode Island School of Design, Wes continued to participate in exhibitions at BAC. On top of all his great work, he is a super guy. We are all enormously proud of Wes and take great delight in awarding him this honor. We know he will take this success with him as he navigates his future.”

Wes says that for his entire life, art has been a preoccupation. In elementary school he took an animation class with the late Wendy Jackson Hall. “I enjoyed it so much that I continued to take her classes until I was noticeably older than the rest of the kids,” he says. He continued to draw, paint, and animate through middle and high school; his freshman year, he and a friend created some relief prints that were later displayed in BAC’s annual High School Show.

“I’ve always drawn inspiration from observing people, body language, environment, and a pervading mood,” says Wes. “Recent work has dealt, more specifically, with a sense of place. My four years in Providence, Rhode Island gave me a new perspective on my home in the Pacific Northwest. With that, I’ve tried to capture my own memories and evoke this abstract sense of place.”