Raised in Chicago's south side, Paul McCoy began working in clay in 1964 under the direction of Daniel Edler at Scattergood Friends School, a boarding school in rural West Branch, Iowa. He taught ceramics in Chicago-area high schools for several years before moving to Texas to work in the oilfields. During this period, McCoy enrolled in evening ceramics courses at the University of Houston/Clear Lake, where he spent two years working under the supervision of Professor Nick de Vries, who McCoy credits as one of his most significant influences and mentors. After completing his graduate studies at the University of Iowa, McCoy moved to Waco in 1986 to direct the ceramics program at Baylor University.
McCoy's creative endeavors embrace both functional and sculptural ceramics. His work has been exhibited, published, and collected at national and international levels for the past 21 years.
MFA, University of Iowa
BA, Northern Illinois University
"Reality is no fixed condition, but a quantity which can be heightened. Its magnitude is functionally dependent upon the intensity of our experiencing…." Martin Buber
Having spent the past forty-five years as an objectmaker, I have been both intrigued and frustrated in that, given the choice between a physical environment replete with objects and one devoid of objects, I choose the empty space. If this is my reality, then why make objects? A brief glance into my storage space often results in vertigo when confronted with all the objects that chronicle my past few decades. Wouldn’t keeping journals accomplish the documentation of a life just as comprehensively without the displacement of so much space?
I doubt that I will ever fully discover the answer to this dilemma, but I am becoming more appreciative of the question as I continue the process of designing and constructing ever more objects. It requires me to fully consider what is worth committing to the third dimension and reveals an inner drive that cannot be reasoned away. It is precisely this drive, which seems to exist simultaneously within and beyond the artist, that has, throughout the milennia, chronicled our human presence at this moment in the life of Creation.