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January 29th, 2018

February Gallery

Edmond Fine Arts Gallery Showcases the Art of Brad McNeill the Month of February

The Edmond Fine Arts Institute (FAI) Gallery features the art of Brad McNeill, February 1- 28. An artist reception, open to the public, will be held on Thursday, February 1st from 5:00-7:00 at Edmond Fine Arts, 27 East Edwards, Edmond, OK.

Brad is a 1987 Edmond Memorial graduate and lifelong Edmond residence. His love of art and painting has always been part of his all his life but just recently he rediscovered his creative spirit. His abstract paintings have been met with great success and popularity in the community. The Edmond Fine Arts Institute is proud to showcase the work of Brad McNeill, a true example of an emerging artist with a passion for creativity.

For 33 years the Fine Arts Institute has been Edmond's non-profit community arts organization offering educational enrichment for adults and children in the visual and performing arts. Visit the Edmond Fine Arts Institute Gallery, 27 East Edwards, Edmond, Monday - Thursday 9:00-5:00, Fridays 9:00-4:00. For more information visit edmondfinearts.com or call 340-4481.

Brad's story in his own words:

My name is Brad McNeill and I love art. I love all art- books, movies, music, but I really am interested in visual arts and specifically painting. I was raised in Edmond, OK as an only child. I had a lot of time to myself. I had two loves as a child, art and football. I would combine the two by drawing football scenes, football players, football helmets. I was obsessed with the bright colors and logos associated with football.

As I grew I would always study art. I took every art class I could in junior high all the way up through high school. I graduated from Edmond Memorial High School in 1987 and decided to attend UCO where I wanted to study art and possibly graduate with a degree in art. I had a professor give me some good advice with regards to art. He said, "art is about being free." Up to that point, my art was always about "realism". By letting myself be free I accidentally developed my first abstract painting. This was something consistent with my personality, and so I went headlong into it.

Upon graduating from college, I realized there wasn't much opportunity in the real world for an abstract painter so I took a job at an advertising agency. A few years later I got married to another Edmond graduate, Rachel James. We have two kids and run a concrete and paving company. How time flies. I still get to work with paint, only this time it's those stripes on parking lots. We have built a great life together thanks to the blessings of God and the business, and it allowed me to reconnect with art.

A few years ago, Rachel and I were in an antique store in Eureka Springs, AR when she spotted an abstract painting she had to have. I told her I could paint that. (I'm not sure she believed me.) So, I went home and painted, with my own touch, of course. Then I painted a couple of more paintings. We had a decorator come to our home to help us and she noticed the paintings. She asked where we got them. When she found out I had painted them my painting career took off. Shelly Arnold has sent my name to the four corners of the OKC metro area and beyond. I am forever grateful to her and her customers for appreciating my art. Since then I have worked with other awesome decorators (Tammy Barrett), have had my work displayed at Fine Arts Institute in Edmond thanks to the wonderful Shannon Price, and have had many awesome customers who have put value in my art. Another major blessing was the day Rachel and I moved next door to the former mayor Saundra Naifeh. She and her husband Frank have a true passion for art and supported me greatly. I have many friends and family who have supported me and my art through the years and am so thankful for their generosity.

The greatest painter is God and there is no better painting than an Oklahoma sunset. I am fortunate to see it and appreciate all the blessings I have. There are many, many great Oklahoma artists and I am truly thankful to be a part of them.