We Wanna Be Friends With Local Artist Michael McConnell

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Michigan-born artist Michael McConnell may have gotten his love for furry animals from the long days he spent watching squirrels out the front window of his childhood home.


After graduating from design school followed by a cross country move to San Francisco, McConnell continues to draw upon the youthful anxieties and awkwardness that caused him to sit for hours watching squirrels play to create striking visual narratives that examine loneliness, responsibility, and choice. In his paintings, the innocence and vulnerability of children and animals is a prevailing theme in his work, which depicts  woodland creatures caught in complicated binds. See for yourself at Dolores Park Cafe, where he's hung his current show "Tethered."

Loosen Your Hold: Acrylic on wood panel, 45" x 60", 2011

1. What neighborhood do you currently call home? Would you ever move or are you happy in your 'hood?  

For the past 13 years, I have lived in the Mission District. I am totally content as I pretty much live within a 4 block radius. My partner lives in Oakland so I brave crossing the Bay all the time in the name of love. Plus, Oakland is pretty cool.

2. What's your hands-down, absolute favorite thing to eat in SF?

I could pretty much eat a taco every single day of my life. (My ladies at El Buen Sabor can vouch for this.)

3. What's your perfect night on the town?

I'd probably be out midweek walking around catching up with a friend and then grabbing a drink and dinner. I'm very low key I suppose. 

4. Where do you go for down time?

I spend many afternoons in my studio; it's one of my favorite places. If I'm not there I'd probably be hanging out on the Faye's bench having coffee.

5. What's your favorite place to go on a day trip from the city?

One of my favorite day trips was spent at the Headlands, seeing art, visiting the lighthouse, and hiking out to the beach. There are so many amazing places around the city to experience nature and relax a little bit.

6. Quick-fire round

Burrito or Burger: Burrito

Presidio or Golden Gate Park: Golden Gate Park

BiRite or Mitchell's:  Mitchell's

Bike or MUNI: Bike

Fort Mason or Dolores Park: Dolores Park

The Independent or the Fillmore: The Independent

Baker Beach or Ocean Beach: Baker Beach

 7. Three words that describe your life in SF?

Community, Artistic, and Super (especially when ordering tacos)

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