Featured Artist: Henry McMurray

Henry McMurray is well-known among with peers and the community for his unique pieces of art. McMurray describes his artistic style as “just goofy”, a style which has resonated with many for its ironic undertones and witty humor. His exhibits have featured plaster fingers on a plate titled “Finger Food”, and a plaster hand gripping both a plug and a dollar bill titled “Power Grip”. Other works include nose hair trimmed by a mini-lawnmower and plaster toes suspended within a jam jar. This year, McMurray’s theme of puns will be continued; his latest piece “Pen Pals” — two pens, smiling at each other — will be premiered at the Advanced Placement art student exhibit in February at the Orcas Center. 

McMurray’s senior picture / Contributed photo

When asked to describe his art in his own words, McMurray describes it as “… yes”. At the premiere of the student exhibit, McMurray stated that he “just likes to have fun”, and an audience member asked him if he’s “the one with the sense of humor.” McMurray’s art transcends simply jokes, however: he intends to get viewers to “see things in a different way than expected.” He’s been a student of Corey Wiscomb’s for the better part of his high school career, and intends to develop his art further as he graduates.

In addition to his visual art, McMurray and his collaborator Brother Murphy are known for their annual presentations of performance art at the school’s holiday luncheon. While the meaning of the pieces are found to be rather obscure, the performances are always engaging and unexpected. Murphy and McMurray’s collaborations both draw from their unique senses of humor, and Murphy thinks McMurray’s pun plaster figures greatly influence their performances. “We want to shock people,” Murphy said. “We want them to see things differently.”