McKinley Wallace III is a mixed-media painter whose art depicts strength expounded by the oppressed and an educator dedicated to cultivating people-oriented environments that foster inclusive community building and high-quality learning. He will receive his Master of Arts in Teaching degree from Maryland Institute College of Art in spring 2021.
Mr. Wallace creates identity-affirming spaces by sharing, expanding, and integrating community-based projects within his curriculum and studio practice. He wants to encourage a learner's sense of self and investment toward educating themselves and others, in and outside of school.
This past summer, during the COVID-19 pandemic, a group of eight high school youth and Mr. Wallace created a social-distanced mural in West Baltimore called "A Promising Future," a name picked by the youth. Each of them produced 24" black and white paintings on wood panels to answer one essential question, "what does it take to help a community thrive?" He and two other artists installed their wood panels on an outdoor surface, framing a centerpiece Mr. Wallace designed and painted on site. The most important thing about the mural is that Black people made it for a predominately Black community. For years to come, as the youth who assisted with this mural reach well into adulthood, they can visit this artwork, stand in front of the painting and say, "I helped make this."
McKinley Wallace III aims to promote and establish a safe space for non-consensus racial beings. He will orchestrate an inclusive environment for youth to feel culturally recognized, take steps out of their comfort zones, and not feel judged by their perspectives, beliefs, attitudes, and racial bodies.