Margaret McInroe is an artist who lives and works in Miami, FL and New York, NY. She was born in an U.S. Air Force base,Minot, North Dakota (1959), lived in Bitburg, Germany, San Antonio then Dallas, TX where she attended Creative Arts Magnet High school, attended University of North Texas, received a BFA in Art History and studied painting, drawing and installation. She relocated to New York and received an MFA in Combined Media from Hunter College, City University of New York in 1997 then extended her residence and art practice to Miami in 2012. She has exhibited and been involved in collaborative projects and art installations in Dallas, Austin, New York , Brooklyn, and Miami.
Just as aerodynamics and mid 20th Century Space Age exploration fascinated and inspired generations of technological innovations, artists, architects and designers, the era fostered generations of environmentalists by enabling views from space of Earth, itâ€™s eco system and affirmed the roll of humankind in stewardship of our place in the universe. R. Buckminster Fuller called our planet â€œSpaceship Earthâ€ and pronounced the designer as a multitasker. My artwork is an ever evolving exploration that fuses art, architecture, technology, plant based design and sustainability. My combined media practice involves researching green building practices, sustainable materials, gardening, digital modeling and rendering, parametric design, biomimetic and biofuturist visionary architecture.
My earliest memory of art making was constructing a rocket ship control panel with found objects and bottle tops when I lived in military housing in Texas then making Christmas tree forts and elaborate split level doll habitats with found objects. I was fortunate to attend the Arts Magnet School at Booker T Washington High School in Dallas which had art history classes and sessions at the Dallas Museum of Art at the Texas Fairgrounds (an Art Deco treasure designed in 1936) to study art, design, jewelry and ceramics in an urban environment.
The DMA collection included “Device” by Jasper Johns, paintings by Krasner, Rauchenberg, Frankenthaler, Gorky, Stella, Kelly, Noland, Louis, Sol Lewitt and minimal sculpture by Robert Morris, exhibits of Pre Columbian art, Matisse, Calder and Avedon and site specific art installations in the lagoon by Patricia Johanson situated in the fairgrounds which featured the Museum of Natural History, the futuristic house of tomorrow, garden and agricultural exhibits within a carnivalesque atmosphere of roller coasters, sky rides and Big Tex.
At UNT in Denton I focused on Art History because I wanted to curate and enjoyed research and writing – I became interested in feminist studies and gave a presentation on Lucy Lippard. I also studied painting with Vernon Fisher who was creating large scale installations and art theory with visiting artist Sherrie Levine.
My work became more architectural and site specific at Hunter College in Manhattan where the MFA studios were situated in the vast former NY technical institute that had an abundance of vintage technical devices such as cathode tube oscilloscopes and color bar generators which I repurposed in my Monument to the NYT. Also plentiful were building materials and supplies left from previous students. I continued using building material as my installations became more architectural and multi-tasking in Robert Morris combined media seminar and in printmaking class with Vincent Longo. My thesis project was a architectural sculptural structure with large scale aluminum plates that were etched and blue prints were lifted from the plates in intaglio process.
I became more interested in green building, sustainable materials, gardening, design and planning when I renovated older homes and my art studio/ apartment in Austin, Texas. I also volunteered with the Texas Bamboo Society, attended organic gardening workshops and researched the Travis County green building program and sustainable, renewable materials for my renovation projects.
The 2009 installation Culmination Space was a sort of a feminist green building “mosh pit” that incorporated bamboo, paintings and renderings, recycled denim insulation batting (which I later installed in my art studio and home) and videos that introduced the development Culmnia and the Living Hybrid biostructure series bambusa major multiplex which was based largely on the giant bamboo varieties that I encountered in the Taniguchi bamboo garden in Austin, as an architectural element at the MAK in L.A. and on visits to the Botanical garden in Rio De Janeiro. The videos included drawings which reflect my interest in renderings of biomorphic and futuristic visionary architecture of Bauhaus, Art Deco era, mid century modern, Metabolist, space age, biomimetic design and parametric modeling.
In the GFC (Growing the Future of our City) installation in Miami for the Downtown Development Authority Art Days program, the walkways of bambusa major multiplex became wheatgrass sculptures which were integrated with an historic building and the grass was juiced for refreshments to foster visionary enhancement. The walkways were also exhibited at the Miami Beach Botanical Garden, explored through renderings and paintings then computer drawings which evolved into models for a large scale elevated garden path performance structure and public sculpture titled CELP (Cooling Effect Lapiz).
When I exhibited at the Sustainatopia group show at the Miami Beach Botanical Garden, I was invited by the director to create a sculpture for the garden which involved creating models and PDF presentations to present to the board of directors. Since I usually had worked on temporary public outdoor installations, I had to research ways to create a more sustainable, integral and durable model for CELP that could be placed outdoors in the garden pond which led to making the prototype models with 3D Vix in Miami. I created the first 3D print with Javier Mendez who traced my drawings in CAD (please see the CELP model video) and the models were 3D printed.
The CELP renderings and 3D printed models envision a levitation of the botanical garden literally with its carbon sequestering, nourishing verdant pathways and figuratively in importance and status as a mega merging of sustainability and design in the commercialized context of urbanity where green space is marginalized.
Due to sea level rise, the Miami Beach Botanical Garden (which also functions as a visitor center, event space, educational facility and wildlife habitat) is in peril and I felt that the ideal sculpture for the botanical garden was to promote it, protect it, elevate it, and expand it to the parking lot (across from the new Miami Beach convention center) and neighboring golf course through renderings and have the model floating in the pond as a cooling fountain powered by integrated solar panels. I had also proposed this sculpture as a large scale structure to the Miami Foundation for the Edgewater neighborhood in Miami.
Many gardens and green spaces are in peril globally as well so I wanted to recreate the model in other places which led to researching sustainable practice in architecture, garden design, native plants, fabrication, materials. CAD, 3D printing, taking parametric design classes at Cooper Union, joining the wonderful Moonlighter Makerspace and Miami Industrial Arts woodshop fabrication center.
The Celpivor sculpture series began as a CAD study using the Rhino Grasshopper program for the parametric design class and was a way for me to learn fabrication options and facilities in Miami.The plant Celpivors integrate art, design and garden elements and are functional multitasking sculptures that I have in my live/work studio and I hope to create many more to share – fabricated in evolving forms and sustainable materials.
Always having been interested in music, I discovered the beautifully crafted SVARAM metallophone in Mumbai, India and began making sound compositions with the Celpivor. I was invited by Maitesojune Urrechaga and Tony Kapel of the great Pocket of Lollipops to perform a composition at the Girl’s Club, Fort Lauderdale with many talented women performers from South Florida and I exhibited the Houndstooth Cottage Records CD compilation with the CELPR model series at the Design Sublime gallery in Miami in 2017.
I continue to work to on the design, fabrication, rendering and presentation development process for creating the CELP models (small, medium and large scale) – a resilient, sustainable sculptural pavilion, environmental, educational garden center and art performance space utilizing renewal energy that could be recreate globally and be as ubiquitous as the corner church, baseball diamond, basketball, tennis court and football field.
Continuing with the trajectory of CELP, the CELPR series sculpture series began as a CAD study using the Rhino Grasshopper parametric program and was a way for me to learn fabrication options and facilities in Miami and work in cooperative maker spaces..
The plant base CELPR series are functional multitasking sculptures that integrate algorithms, art, design and garden elements for small urban live/ work spaces, studios, public art spaces and cultural centers. As my work became more digital and research focused, I began researching coworking spaces, cooperatives and alternatives for studio workspace and designed the CELPR models to be functional sculptures that could multitask and adapt to a variety of spaces, be economics facilitate body movement and be easily fabricated as prototypes in a various materials and be 3D printed.
With the CELPRWORKS and Sonic Responders Garden installations, I hope to foster collaborations that empower innovation and creative solutions in global communities.
The CELPR series models coexist in the CELP project and in installations much like futuristic bird like creatures materializing from nest like particles.
I strive to be artist at large and try to promote sustainability, connectivity and support for the arts at all times possible.