In a nutshell, I paint, write and tell stories, and then travel all over the place telling the stories behind what I paint and write. My first formal art lessons were at the Moore College of Art in downtown Philadelphia, my hometown. They had classes for young people on Saturday mornings which I attended through all four years of high school. The real blessings and life lessons I received there were not just about learning how to make art in a variety of techniques and styles, but discovering beauty in and with other kids who did not look like the kids in my white, Catholic, Monday through Friday world. In the beginning, African-American, Jewish, Puerto Rican and Asian teens were as new to me as ink, paint, charcoal, and clay. And I grew to love it all.
After high school, I majored in art at Moravian College in Bethlehem, PA and later received an MFA in painting at American University in Washington, DC. I enjoyed wonderful art education at both places and am grateful to this day for the many ways in which both schools broadened my horizons and abilities.
For eleven years, I was an associate professor of studio art and art history at De Sales University in Center Valley, PA from where I transitioned in 1994 into working full time as an artist who leads retreats, creates books, and gives presentations. Boy, I didn’t see that coming! But you never know where the Holy Spirit is going to lead you, and Her plans always work out better than anything I could do left to my own devices.
Since 1987, I have taught every summer at the Grunewald Guild, an interfaith art community in the Cascade Mountains of Leavenworth, WA which offers week-long classes in any number of art disciplines. Believe me, there are worse ways to spend summer days. And finally, since 2009, I have lived and worked in Camden, NJ where I have furthered my art education in the context of social justice and finding beauty on the margins.
In 2017, I turned sixty and celebrated forty years as a Religious Brother in the Oblates of St. Francis de Sales. I firmly believe the best is yet to come.
Visit Brother Mickey’s website.
Events with Mickey O. McGrath, OSFS
September 30, 2021
Many of our favorite saints had a special love for animals. Martin de Porres is the patron saint of veterinarians. Brigid of Ireland tamed a fox and owned a very special cow. Nicholas Black Elk rode a horse named Baloney. Francis of Assisi and St. Thérèse of Lisieux loved a…
November 9, 2021
Pilgrimages are grace-filled opportunities for growth and renewal, even the ones you make from your easy chair! Journey on the historic pilgrim route from Paris to northwest Spain through art and stories taken from the pages of Bro. Mickey’s travel sketchbooks and journals. The tomb of St. James continues to…