From Kingstree High to Governor’s School to Cleveland Institute of Art: Young artist pursues automotive design career

From Kingstree High to Governor’s School to Cleveland Institute of Art: Young artist pursues automotive design career

From The Kingstree News

Article and photo by Michaele Duke

The children at the Williamsburg County Library were in for a treat last week when Shawn McClary, an artist who recently graduated from the South Carolina Governor’s School for the Arts and Humanities, showed up for a class.

McClary joined a long list of speakers who volunteered their time to enlighten the young ones through STEAM, a mini-grant funded by the SC State Library. The classes meet twice weekly with a number of speakers participating and will conclude with a gallery opening at the library on July 13, to display the students’ writings and artwork.

For his part in the STEAM program, McClary described his time at the school and conveyed his view of the world through his art. “They actually focus more on experimenting and finding new ways to approach art, rather than a great artist being defined and sophisticated in the arts,” said McClary. The Governor’s School for the Arts and Humanities is a public residential high school for emerging artists. Students must apply and audition to attend the school.

While at the Governor’s School, McClary majored in the visual arts. This fall he will head to the Cleveland Institute of Art where he will continue his pursuit in design.

Most of his drawings focused on automobile design, which is a telling of his goals that began when he was a sophomore at Kingstree Senior High School. “It was the summer of my 10th grade year and we went to the BMW manufacturing plant,” said McClary of that fateful day in Spartanburg. “I really liked their aesthetics and that really influenced me to look into automotive design.” McClary’s goal is to work for Chevrolet or GMC as an exterior designer.

For his next step into the world of automotive design, McClary chose Cleveland Institute because they offer an industrial design program in which he can concentrate in transportation design.

He said three major auto companies participate in the program. “Just about every Saturday they come and teach the children how to draw cars and you can sign up for internships.”

He has one up on the drawing portion of the classes. He said he recently entered the Dodge Autorama design competition and placed in the top 10 out of approximately 90 sketches.

McClary’s mom says it’s been a pleasure watching him grow into an artist. “This is so exciting to me,” said Angela. “The house has become a museum of his work. I hate to see him leave but he’s following his dream.”


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