Kenny Maguire’s ‘Alternate Realities’ comes into focus at TCC exhibit

Artist Kenny Maguire negotiates time and space with a tangible and digital paintbrush. His unique take on the world is informed by his 40 years as a painter and muralist.

Maguire’s newest exhibit, “Alternate Realities,” at Tallahassee Community College’s Fine Art Gallery gives viewers an entirely new perspective on how art can intersect with the metaverse, and what stories can be told across dimensions. 

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“Moving forward where everything is so cold and hard edged, we have to hold onto nature, art, music, and organic things,” says Maguire. “I’m a big fan of the digital, but we can’t lose track of the organic, which is why I’m trying to bridge that. That’s why I’m painting half on canvas and half digitally, because I want to keep one foot in our reality while exploring the other one.” 

Artist Kenny Maguire has a new exhibit, “Alternate Realities,” at Tallahassee Community College’s Fine Art Gallery.

Maguire’s larger-than-life artistic style has left its imprint on many Tallahassee locales, including Railroad Square. His mural, “Alice in Wonderland,” sprawls across the Breezeway Markets — a fantasy painted in blues, yellows, and greens that is grounded by its engagement with Black history and inclusivity. 

If he had to subscribe to a singular category, Maguire says he aligns himself with the impressionism movement. He is always nudging his subject matter into more fantastical versions of reality, and had his eyes opened wide when he received his first virtual reality headset one year ago.

Kenny Maguire,, who recently began experimenting with digital art, has a new exhibit, “Alternate Realities,” at Tallahassee Community College’s Fine Art Gallery.

Three-dimensional freedom

Messing around in the paint program that was installed on the device, Maguire completed his first three-dimensional digital piece just eight months ago. After consulting multiple online videos for guidance, he added new skills to his repertoire and steadily grew his body of digital work. 

“I was amazed to see that when you light something in the computer you don’t have to mix colors or simulate light, you can just flip a button and it will give you a light to shade your models,” explains Maguire, who says the learning curve was greatly aided by his own artistic intuition. “Before, computer art looked painstakingly hard, but having my analog art experience does translate into digital art. I was amazed to find how easy it was.”