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Thursday, 02 January 2020 12:23

Travel agent’s art takes you places

Written by  Staff Writer
Travel agent’s art takes you places Submitted artwork by Nancy McKinnon

BELOIT — Artwork by Nancy McKinnon is being featured this month in the main gallery at the Beloit Art Center.

McKinnon has been a travel agent for 48 years.

“She developed her passion for painting while serving as the travel organizer for watercolor artist and instructor, Barbara Mathews,” according to a news release from the art center. “Barbara had led  ‘Come Paint with Me’ art tours that combined travel to beautiful places with the love of painting.”

McKinnon attended her first watercolor workshop in 1998 while coordinating one of Mathews’ art tours to Maui.

“A tropical island, sunshine and beautiful flowers had all the components to put myself into the zone, to begin my new love for doing art,” McKinnon said.


She began painting as a watercolorist but has branched out into different mediums. Her favorite style is loose, abstract backgrounds, with realistic subject matter.

“Traveling the world opened her eyes to the richness of different cultures and landscapes,” the release said. “Flowers and trees are her current favorite subjects.”

McKinnon began experimenting with acrylics and alcohol ink projects while searching for safe and kid-friendly art projects for her grandchildren. This led to her current passion for acrylic pourings.

She leads painting workshops for children and adults in Janesville, Beloit and Clinton. She also has led an art therapy workshop for a men’s shelter in Janesville.

Nancy serves on the board of directors for the Wisconsin Regional Art Association, and is the chairwoman for Bridging Generations, a program for children ages 5 to 12 with a mission to educate, instruct and have fun doing art.

McKinnon, who has exhibited award-winning pieces at shows around Wisconsin, also has work on display at Sievers, a nationally recognized school of fiber arts on Washington Island in Door County. 

Student art featured

Art by high school student Sam Biebers is being featured in the art center’s Bell Gallery this month. Biebers is a young protégé of McKinnon, and the show is the first public display of her art.

The Beloit Art Center, 520 E. Grand Ave., is open 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Mondays, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesdays through Fridays and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturdays.

For more information, call 608-313-9083 or go online to


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