Local artist Michael “Mac” McClanahan is a graduate of the Kansas City Art Institute with graduate studies education from Boston University. Currently the artist lives and works in Kansas City as well as across the country.
This gate-like piece stands 7’ tall. Centered in the middle of the sculpture are two, 21” wide X 40” high, prison-like doors that swing open opposite from one another. Large antique padlocks adorn each door, which can be locked or left open. The piece is shackled to its base around the wheels on which the gate stands.
“My Mind” represents changing situations such as promises made and sometimes broken due to misunderstandings or conflicts in communications. The bars represent the tension between expectations and reality. The gold leaf, as it tarnishes, represents the deterioration of the ideal transitioning to the real. The wheels express the coming and going of situations. The central gates represent a two-way passage of a changing situation, with the participant usually, but not always, going in one way and out the other.
McClanahan hopes that each viewer will bring his own experience and interpretation to the piece. The original owner saw the piece as the artist’s personal struggle with extreme dyslexia and coping in everyday life. The gates representing the flow of information either trapped between the doors, or at other times with the gates wide open, flowing through them as a free exchange of communications. “My Mind” was created by local artist McClanahan at the request of Bruce Hartman for Johnson County Community College’s “Beyond Bounds Art Auction” in 2005. “Beyond Bounds” is a biennial auction, to raise funds to support gallery exhibitions, artists’ lectures and the Nerman Museum at JCCC. In 2005 one hundred and thirty prominent international, national and regional artists were invited to participate in the “Gold Rush” themed auction. McClanahan considers this model to be among his best works and hopes one day to produce a heroic version of it.
This is the first sculpture privately donated to the City of Leawood’s Public Art Collection, offered as a gift to the City of Leawood by Carol and Todd Haenisch. The APPI selection committee then selected the sculpture according to the terms of APPI policy with the approval of City Council.