Fort Morgan, CO 5/23/2022. Joshua McKenzie, a self-taught artist specializing in portraiture, opened his first solo exhibit at the CACE Gallery for Fine Art, 300 Main Street, Fort Morgan, on May 19. The opening of the exhibit coincided with the CACE Third Thursday Art Walk from 4:00-7:00 PM, drawing a very large crowd of McKenzie’s family members, friends, and local community art enthusiasts. The exhibit will remain open through June 16.
McKenzie was born and attended school in Morgan County. He enjoys all mediums of art, but prefers working in graphite, charcoal, and oil paint. Most of his portraits are easily recognizable notable figures, from actor John Wayne to scientist Albert Einstein to Jesus Christ. “My focus is on realism, although I often use a more impressionistic approach to backgrounds in portraiture.” said McKenzie. “I strive to capture or create emotions by pushing color to its limits and by capturing forms and shapes in their simplest expressions, whether in brush or pencil strokes.”
Joshua McKenzie has a drive and passion to overcome the lows in life and take advantage of every opportunity he can to learn, hone his skills, and continue to grow. As a recent resident of New Mexico, McKenzie has been able to concentrate on his art and build his portfolio while working to support himself and his wife, Shawna, with various construction and skilled labor jobs. Limitations in the labor force during the pandemic made this a difficult task at times.
In 2019, Josh entered his portrait, “Chief Sitting Bull,” into a competition with the New Mexico Art League. He was chosen as a featured artist, his first exhibition as a professional artist. That recognition was the incentive and validation he needed to throw himself into the pursuit of his passion for art.
“Mastering the ability to capture moments in time on paper and canvas is my life’s aspiration to bring the joy of art, as well as the importance of every breath, to the world,” stated McKenzie. He considers himself to be a student of life, a great gift not to be taken for granted. MCC CACE offers many free community events throughout the year. To learn more about CACE and future opportunities, visit www.morgancc.edu/CACE or call 970-542-3180.