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McKenna Marvin studied physics and astronomy in Santa Monica, California but decided to move to Tokyo, Japan to study abroad where she received her Bachelors of Art from Tyler School of Art at Temple University. After living in Japan for seven years and taking an extended break from art to work and travel, McKenna moved back to the United States and is for now settled in Portland, Oregon. It’s here, in her studio in the Pacific Northwest, where she has taken up the brush again, and creates traditional paintings and illustrations using watercolor, pencil, and graphite. Inspired by shoujou manga from Japan, surrealist painters in Eastern Europe, and ancient, historical events, McKenna’s paintings consist of chromatic, dreamlike beings, and seemingly angelic motifs drenched in sunset, twilight worlds.

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"I use traditional media in my work for the very reason that it holds space in time. I'm fascinated by works in museums that have survived for centuries, that have been looked upon by generations of eyes, and they fill me with an absolute truth: the impermanence of our mortal flesh, and that physical art can allow us to travel back to bygone times, to experiences lived by the artists themselves. I am inspired by artists like Zdzislaw Beksinski, Hiroaki Samura, Van Gough, Maxfield Parrish and others, whos art captured not political movements, current events, or other zeitgeist, but the inner beauty, torment, and contemplation of their singular human mind. Their work inspires me to leave my own thumbprint of my life behind me: that I lived, I breathed, and I suffered. I am drawing from the deep well inside of myself to express the mental state of the human condition that we all share... and that none of us are immune to the passage of time."


Shows & Exhibitions

Artist in Residence at East Creative Collective - Portland 2020-present 

Rose City Comic Con  Portland, OR, September 2023

Phantom Gallery Burning Man, Black Rock City, NV 2023

Giving Grief a Voice Featured Artist Exhibition September 2023

"GGaV Panel Discussion" Portland, OR June 2023

"The Thin Veil" Splendorium Gallery, Portland, July OR 2023

Phantom Gallery Burning Man, Black Rock City, NV 2022

Giving Grief a Voice Featured Artist Exhibition October 2022

Crow Festival of Artists April 2022 Portland Oregon

Rose City Comic Con  Portland, OR, September 2021

Giving Grief a Voice Charity Auction, Portland, OR, October 2020,2021

Gallery of Friends  Virtual Exhibition, October 2020

Rose City Comic Con  Portland, OR, September 2019

“Mediation” Tokyo, Japan October 2017 

“Untitled” Edogawabashi, Japan March 2013, NIW Gallery 

Temple University Japan Campus

Temple University,

Spring 2009-spring 2013

Bachelors in Fine Arts from Tyler School of Art

Tokyo, Japan


Santa Monica, Community College


AA in General Studies with a focus on Astrophysics and Astronomy 

Santa Monica, California, USA


August 2019 - Semi-Finalist MarktD/ NIKE collaboration competition

October 2017 - Temple University Alumni Gallery Artist

Spring 2012 - Temple Annual Scholastic Achievement scholarship 

Comics Experience

Winter 2020

Introduction to Visual Storytelling by Phillip Sevy

Remote Learning

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