Margot McMahon

Forms of Nature
, Oak Park, IL
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A lifelong environmentalist, internationally- awarded Margot McMahon sculpts forms of nature. Humans, plants and animals symbolizing lifeforms are fused into organic interpretations in bronze, Cor-Ten steel, aluminum, granite or wood. She has been called the “Studs Terkel of the sculpting world”, by Chicago Sculpture Exhibit for her sculptural interpretations of everyday heroes in The Chicago History Museum exhibit, Just Plain Hardworking. The exhibit of Chicagoans, who have made a difference, is collected by DePaul University and the subject of a WTTW documentary. This exhibition interprets with sculpture, painting and essay one generation who created the multicultural fabric of Chicago. Margot Sculpt birds as symbolic indicators of a healthy environment. Watch the canaries in the coal mine to know when conditions change to impede life on earth. The diversity of feathered friends pays tribute to vital and varied species. The Maple birds are carved from a 300 year old tree blown over in hurricane force winds off Lake Michigan. In 300 years that tree had not met that strong a wind. The spalted Maple was had its heartwood filled with nutrients and water causing the fabulous patterns. Ecosystem No. 1 is a sculpture-ecosystem that invites viewers to contribute water to a solar-powered pump and wind propelled vane that distributes the water onto a sedum garden. It takes the collaboration of humans, the sun, and wind for the garden to thrive.
The Smithsonian, the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago History Museum, Sokka Gaikai, Mobil Oil, the Chicago Botanic Garden and the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation and Steans Family Foundation have collected her sculpture. Margot has taught sculpture and drawing at the School of the Art Institute and Yale University, where she earned an MFA. Margot is President of YaleWomen Chicago, on Yale Club Chicago Board of Directors, Association of Yale Alumni Delegate at Large, Chicago Sculpture International: committee member, and the Ragdale Foundation’s Board of Directors. She is a founding commissioner of Oak Park Public Art Advisory Commission while on the Oak Park Area Arts Council Board for a decade. Margot has enjoyed residencies at the Oak Park Art League Artifact and Ragdale Foundation. Her sculptures are exhibited at the Arts Club of Chicago, Krasl Biennial, Terrain and Brauer Museum last year. She has recently published with the Yale Center for British Art, “The Gift of Art, Sculpture Ventures for Young Artists” to exercise creativity while learning to sculpt. Currently Margot is currently sculpting Gwendolyn Brooks for Brooks Park in Chicago.