Quirky little homes with distinct personalities

Odd little spaces and places with curious openings

Charming little ladders ascending to quiet places

Welcoming little birds

Peculiar little dwellings, engaging with each other and looking strangely

similar to people


            Homes, dwellings, abodes, habitats, shelters, houses

                        Windows, openings, doorways, entrances, access,

                                    What is the home, if not an extension of ourselves?

                                                They offer us refuge, a sense of place, comfort (and                                                                   sometimes humor!)



I am a sculptor who works with a wide variety of materials - particularly clay and steel. It’s always interesting what holds an artists’ interest and curiosity, compelling them to make whole bodies of work around a single subject. I realized that the idea of “place” was guiding most of my work only after I had relocated several times. I am originally from New York State, but have moved around and across the country a lot, usually as the lucky recipient of an artist residency. Very recently though, as my final long distance move, I’ve settled in the Portland area and am already feeling more connected to the land and people than ever before. Since I’m no longer going to be so peripatetic - searching for my place, my home – I’m curious how it will impact my work and the idea of place, but I’m very excited to find out - I’ll keep you posted!


Originally from Upstate New York, Virginia McKinney attended SUNY College at Buffalo where she earned her B.S. in Art Education. Her graduate work was done at Syracuse University in Fibers, Western Carolina University where she earned a M.A. in Sculpture, and the University of the Arts in Philadelphia, where she received a MFA in Ceramics. Virginia is new to the Portland area and is currently working and teaching at the Multnomah Art Center. She previously held the post of Assistant Professor, teaching Ceramics and Sculpture at Bethany College in Lindsborg, KS, was the Interim Ceramics Head and Artist in Residence at the Armory Art Center in Florida, and was an adjunct instructor of Ceramics and 3-D design at Walters State Community College in Tennessee. She also worked, taught and maintained her studio for many years on the campus of the Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts. She exhibits her work nationally at the American Craft Council shows and other high caliber fine craft shows and sells her work though several galleries and museum shops. Her work is in numerous private collections as well as in the permanent collections of the Armory Art Center, the Arrowmont School and the Tennessee State Museum.