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Hero Cowboys - Works by Keith MacLelland

Hero Cowboys
Award winning artist Keith MacLelland announced that his mixed media hero monster cowboy
collages were selected for a solo exhibition at the Nesto Gallery at Milton Academy.
March - April 2015 - Artist’s reception to be held on March 6th from 5:30-7:30PM

MacLelland’s work has been recognized internationally and exhibited nationally. The Nesto Gallery Milton Academy will display MacLelland’s work starting March 6th and continuing through April 24th, with an artist’s reception scheduled for
March 6th from 5:30 7:30PM.

The cultural source of Maclelland’s work is Hollywood’s heroic singing cowboys of the 1950’s, MacLelland’s cowboys have all the magical showmanship of Gene Autry and Roy Rogers. They are happy and fun-loving, with the strength and energy to be fierce when necessary. They can turn in an instant to become powerful, robust, and monstrous. However, these are contemporary heroes who, unlike their 50‘s counterparts, must be larger than larger than life. They are up against even more diabolical enemies like the Boston Marathon bombers, school shooters, violent offenders on our streets and in our psyches. They can no longer simply be romanticized 1950’s sing-a-long cowboys. They must be sentries, guardians, superheroes – monster cowboys.
Former MCCA Community Arts Program Curator Sue Merritt states, “MacLelland’s cowboy super heroes are adorned with colorful, intricately designed costumes that transform the ordinary figure into one of myth and legend, protectors of our planet, our country and our selves. What a welcome and timely reminder to this American culture fraught with such collective insecurity about the future.”
And... Boston Metro Arts Writer, Matthew Dinaro states, “These collage creatures by Illustrator Keith MacLelland are a mix of the American cowboy with the Mexican luchador - and a lot more besides. With their manic energy and style, they seem like the heroes of a lost Cartoon Network series. But one can also read in their fragmented composition a commentary on the illusory nature of archetypes - heroic or otherwise.”
MacLelland’s street and eco-conscious contemporary cowboys are built from everyday discards - cracker boxes, scratch tickets, juice cartons, business cards, candy wrappers, and junk mail. His color palette is dominated by primary colors, echoing the innocence and purity of the singing cowboy while speaking to today’s technologically amped–up audience. As a nod to the costuming of the 50’s era icon, MacLelland embellishes his brightly colored pieces with elements such as rhinestones, glitter and silver studs – an equally contemporary fashion consciousness.

Keith MacLelland splits his time between studios located in Boston, and Cape Cod, and is an Assistant Professor at the Lesley University College of Art and Design. MacLelland has talked about his work at the Maryland Institute of Contemporary Art in Baltimore, MD, Laguna College of Art and Design in Laguna Beach, CA, The Art Institute of Boston, and at The New England School of Art and Design at Suffolk University in Boston, MA; he has been an Artist in Residence at St. Paul’s School in Concord, NH; he is a contributing artist published in the last five editions of The Painter WOW! Book. In addition to having exhibited nationwide, MacLelland has earned professional accolades from The Society of Illustrators in Los Angeles, American Illustration, Creative Quarterly, Applied Arts and HOW Design. His website can be found at

Serving the Milton community since 1972, the Nesto Gallery features artists primarily from the New England area, but also national and internationally renowned exhibitors, who enrich and broaden the School's collective perspective on art. The Gallery typically sponsors eight exhibitions a year, five or six of which feature professional artists, and two or three of which are student exhibitions. The Nesto Gallery also supports an outdoor sculpture exhibition series. An artist lecture series and artist workshops, sponsored by Gallery benefactor Ann Nesto, work in conjunction with these exhibitions to give students a way to meet and talk with the artists directly. The Nesto has gathered metropolitan press attention and local acclaim, as a long-established and highly respected exhibition venue. The Boston Globe, the Globe's Sunday South Shore Weekly and other metropolitan-Boston area newspapers, as well as periodicals such as Art New England and ArtScope Magazine, highlight the gallery schedule and review
shows. The Nesto Gallery is located in the lower level of Milton Academy's Art and Media Center. The Gallery is open from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., Monday through Friday during the academic year, or by appointment.


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