NOW PRESENTING: “Naturally Elementary, my dear Art!” – January Showcase of Michael McGarvey

NOW PRESENTING: “Naturally Elementary, my dear Art!” – January Showcase of Michael McGarvey

Michael William McGarvey was born creative in Fort Leonard Woods, Missouri on the U.S. army base. Later on in life, he moved to Kokomo, Indiana and has been a creatively original and spontaneous person since. 

Michael discovered his love of art in elementary school; he looked forward to it more than any other class. His mom saw that spark in Michael and decided to take him and his brothers twice a week to classes from her friend, Mrs. Monroe. The Monroe family had an art studio set up in their basement where Michael learned how to work with oil paint, clay, and even balsa planes. “I always loved to build and read blueprints. I also loved math and that was part of geometry and proportion. I still love math and trigonometry to this day.”

Michael went on to build remote control boats and planes, marveling that small things could be so powerful. He adored the industrial arts, working on cars, skateboarding, and practicing karate. A diagnosis of manic depression at age 15 sent Michael to Methodist for treatment. He is still thankful to his parents and trusted friends for helping guide him towards that care. Because emotions are hard for Michael to show, he tells stories and expresses his emotions through his paintings and drawings.

In 2018, both of Michael’s forearms were crushed and his ulnar nerves severed due to an accident in a cardboard compactor. He was so determined to get back to his art, that two weeks after his surgery, he taped a brush to his hand and painted. He now has neuropathy in his left palm but is incredibly thankful for the amazing surgeon at Indiana Hand and Shoulder, that he can continue to create today.  

untitled by Michael McGarvey

While on disability, he continues to create. Michael loves painting and donating his works to local hospitals, but creating a commissioned work is his biggest thrill. “Usually I am asked to do something like a painting, shelves for DVDs, and coffee tables. I also made cool shelves out of rough sawn cedar that was over 100 years old. I love everything I do because it is made my way by hand, the same way I built houses, roofs, buildings.”

Michael’s showcase, “Naturally Elementary, my dear Art!” includes works made before and after his injury. It includes paintings, pen and ink pieces, and 3D works. Michael’s exhibit will be on display at the Stephenson house from January 1-29. “I feel good making people smile or seeing them [enjoy my art].” Michael will have a featured segment in our 100th First Friday on Facebook Live – check it out at

Ailithir McGill

Did you know? Nickel Plate Arts is becoming Noblesville Creates!

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Noblesville Creates is Now Noblesville Creates