Written by Jan Ohrmundt
A home-grown artist exhibiting his work in the Westmoreland County Museum in the heart of his hometown of Montross – what could be more natural?
Phil McKenney is the featured artist for this month’s art and wine event at the museum that begins with an opening reception Wednesday, Sept. 18 from 5 to 7 p.m.
“People who have known me all my life may never have seen my work,” he said, adding that there is a story behind each painting that he will be glad to share.
A few larger pieces will also be on display at the Inn at Montross where the wine event takes place.
His association with WCM goes back some 10 years when then-board member Carl Flemer, commissioned McKenney to paint a piece for the museum that recognizes the roots of the county’s African American community. More recently, WCM’s president, Susan Ripol, asked McKenney to help with the revitalization efforts of the Wakefield Building. The mundane job of scraping old paint off the building’s windows led to the creative job of painting an illustration on the side of the building. The mural recognizes those who contributed to restoration efforts.
McKenney’s style has evolved over most of his life, and will likely continue to do so.