Kevin McKay was born in the US, and migrated to Australia with his family at age two. An alumnus of Sydney’s National Art School and the Southern Sydney Art School, McKay is a suburban landscape painter who composes his work in the studio and en plein air. Plein air studies greatly inform McKay’s practice, with paintings that typically depict eerily empty architectural spaces, where the stillness of classical form and the drama of light is found in the everyday and in the midst of urban transience.
McKay has exhibited extensively around Australia, including holding 15 solo exhibitions since 2010. He was the winner in the Bayside Art Award’s Visual Art Prize in 2018, the Alan Gamble Memorial Award for the Built Environment in 2015, and Waverley Art Prize’s Oil Painting Prize in 2013. He was also the recipient of the inaugural William Fletcher Travelling Fellowship and Rome Residency winner in 2011.
Alongside his many awards and prizes, McKay was also the recipient of the Broken Hill Art Exchange residency program in 2019, the inaugural William Fletcher Foundation's Scholarship to The British School at Rome in 2011, and the Basil & Muriel Hooper Scholarship from the AGNSW in 2006.
His work is represented in a number of public and private collections. including, the Elliott Eyes Collection, Waverley Library Collection, BHP, the Kogarah Municipal Council, Tooheys Brewery and Sydney Institute of TAFE.