October 2008 Issue
Ohioan - Chris McConnell
ARTISTIC ASPIRATIONS: Mesopotamia resident Chris McConnell realized early on that he had both the drive and talent to make art: “When I was five years old, I saw my sister coloring and thought that I could be better than her.” Sure enough, he went on to win numerous awards throughout middle school and high school, but his ultimate goal was to attend an art college. In order to gain admittance, though, McConnell needed a strong, impressive portfolio.
A LIGHT BULB WENT ON: “The idea behind the horse was to get more attention on my work. If you put your art in a building, you have to persuade people to come in. I thought, why not put it outside of the building?” McConnell built a 12-1/2-foot horse from pieces of wood in the center of Mesopotamia, across from End of the Commons General Store.
WHAT’S A HORSE WITHOUT A BUGGY?: Not three hours after the horse had been completed, End of the Commons owner Scott Schaden purchased it to display outside his establishment. He then quickly contracted with the artist to build a proportional buggy.FACING HIS CRITICS: Though most have heaped praise on McConnell, he’s received his fair share of criticism as well. “The hardest part was turning the negative comments into something positive,” McConnell said. “At first, everyone thought I was crazy.”
WHAT’S UP NEXT: McConnell will attend the Cleveland Institute of Art this fall and is currently looking for a plot of land to build a 100-yard-long dragon. “People, again, think I’m crazy,” McConnell says with a laugh.