Peggy McGivern was born in Savage, Minnesota in 1952. With no formal art education, but coming from three generations of artists, McGivern’s creative imagination was evident from an early age. In McGivern’s soon to be release memoir, When I was Six I was a Horse, she chronicles the development of her artistic life. McGivern now works from her two studios in Taos, NM, and Denver, CO.
McGivern first sole her paintings in Sale, UK, where she went with her children as a single mother in 1979. McGivern, it seems, was imbued with a relentless creative spirit, always experimenting, exploring, taking risks and never settling.
“I feel a strong connection with the American Indian. His self reliance, practicality, and love of nature are things that I live by and believe will be a focus of creativity for many years to come.”
Yet McGivern extends this feeling, this connection. “My new focus is on the subtle colors found in the WPA paintings of the nineteen thirties and forties. Burnt oranges next to grayish greens with soft creams instead of harsh whites. The work is reminiscent of that time period but still holds a crisp brightness that I see in my own work for over thirty years.”
McGivern ran Genre Artisans Centre in Denver, CO from 1991 to 2000, being awarded the Westword Magazine Best Art Boost to a Neighborhood award in 1992. After closing Genre to focus on her own work, McGivern has expanded her experiences and inspiration by traveling to Chile, Argentina, Venezuela, Mexico, Croatia, Serbia, Romania, Slovenia, and Hungary, as well as more traditional places such as Italy, France, Spain, Portugal, Germany, England, and her ancestral Ireland.
“I have found in people all over the world that same native self reliance I feel deep within myself. The Pueblo Indians of New Mexico, Chilean Mestizos, or Gypsies in Romania, as unique as we all are, I see myself in them, and whatever it is, it colors my work,” Peggy says.
“I’ve been watching Peggy grow for the last decade, since she first started showing her work in Taos. When she came to my gallery five years ago I recognized her exuberant brushstrokes and vibrant palette immediately and accepted her into my gallery without qualm. Through the years she has consistently beckoned the viewer to enjoy the storytelling of art, whether it be Cucharas dancing in the sky or fishermen pulling a boat out of a bay. What I didn’t know was how much she intended to keep growing as an artist. She never sits still. Through the years her work has continued to become more innovative and fresh, but now with her third annual Legends and Myths exhibit, though the first two sold out, she has surpassed anything I imagined. Surely she is at her peak.” Anita Ellison, Act One Gallery, Taos, NM.
“She don’t stop, she just change position.” Bill Guinyard, family friend.
“As a gallery owner I’ve seen a lot of artists struggle and some succeed. But I’ve never seen anyone with Peggy’s energy. Watching her, I’ve come to my definition of a true artist. A true artist is compelled to create. It’s like therapy, or the way most of use speech to tell others who we are. In the last few years she’s studied and incorporated elements of the Bay Are Figurative Movement, Gene Kloss’s Native American prints, and folk art from three continents. Peggy has to change the world every day. Each painting, each title, is an idea made real. The sheer volume of her work, always changing, I can barely keep up.” Peter Stravlo, McGivern’s husband.
McGivern was selected as the featured artist for the 2011 Taos Summer Writer’s Conference, in Taos, NM. Her Stormy’s Weather graced the Conference poster, and her works were featured on the Conference website, mailers and promotional material. McGivern’s soon to be released memoir, When I was Six I was a Horse, caused quite a sensation, Conference founder Sharon Warner exclaiming, “I wish I were so talented, to be able to paint and write, too!”
McGivern is a featured artist in Dakota Mitchell’s book Finding Your Visual Voice: A Painter’s Guide to Developing an Artistic Style, in which not only is her work featured but McGivern demonstrates the techniques of her creative process, from idea to completed canvas. McGivern also has been featured in numerous articles, including Southwest Art and Western Art magazines.
McGivern’s Home on the Range was selected for Denver International Airport’s invitational exhibition See the West Like a Native, welcoming visitors to Colorado.
Corporate, Commercial, and Private Collections
The Denver Children’s Hospital, commissioned nine pieces for their new Children’s Ward in Denver, CO
The Children’s Diabetes Center, Denver, CO
French Chamber of Commerce, NY, NY
Arts and Humanities, Denver, CO
Denver Performing Arts Center
Shadow Mountain Institute, Tulsa, OK
Franz Klammer Hotel Corporate Collection
Denver Health Sciences Center, Public Relations
Tuthill and Hughes
LLP, The Fuel Team
Shelf Image, Inc.
PS Installations, Inc.