John McEnroe grew up in the central plains states of Missouri and Kansas. John worked as a production potter in Harveyville, Kansas and also in Palisade, Colorado. He received his BFA from Kansas University in Lawrence, Kansas with the help of his mentor and agrarian professor David Vertacnik. The adventurous Fine Arts program at Ohio State University offered exciting new opportunities from an international faculty. John received his MFA in 1993 and began teaching at Ohio State. In 1995 John and his wife moved to Denver where he taught at the university. He collaborated with many of Colorado’s old-guard, including John DeAndrea.
John jumped at the chance to participate in the burgeoning public art program in the western states Individual public art projects like “Model State: A Local Cosmology” and “National Velvet” brought national attention. And projects with other artists, such as Donald Lipski and Lawrence Wiener, were his focus for many years.
A severe injury sustained in the studio was a major turning point. After a long recovery, John attacked a sweeping scope of work that sought to touch on the “Theory of Everything”. Shifting ideas about the object as art, commodity and impermanence are seen in a large photo group called “Pictures of Sculpture”, of which a book was produced. Two recent museum exhibitions at the Denver Art Museum, and a solo show at The Museum of Contemporary Art Denver, featured experimental processes with resin. These have given rise to broader international exhibition opportunities. He currently maintains a studio in Golden, Colorado and is preparing a new body of work.