Kieran McDonnell, Wrapped Up, 2020 Acrylic & Oil on Canvas, 18”x24”


December 23, 2020 – March 7, 2021

Kieran McDonnell is an emerging artist and painter based in Winona, Minnesota. He received a Bachelor of Arts in studio art from Winona State University and an Associate of Fine Arts from Rochester Community and Technical College (RCTC). Before relocating to Winona,  McDonnell exhibited his work throughout the region at the Watkin’s Gallery, Weber Gallery, Garage Co-work Space, and the RCTC Art Gallery. Recent works were featured in the Rockchester Festival virtual art exhibition. McDonnell is a 2019 recipient of the Southeastern Minnesota Arts Council grant for emerging artists.


Through my art practice I explore a variety of themes including my Catholic faith, politics, justice, mental illness, nature and personal life experiences. 

Scrupulosity features a new series of paintings and mixed media sculptures that draw attention to Scrupulosity. Scrupulosity is defined by the  International OCD Foundation as “A form of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) involving religious or moral obsessions. Scrupulous individuals are overly concerned that something they thought or did might be a sin or other violation of religious or moral doctrine.”

Through the use of mixed media and colors I give the viewer an informative interpretation of how the world appears through my eyes, as someone who suffers from scrupulosity, where my entire focus is devoted to following compulsions to alleviate intense anxiety. I use acrylic paint to depict my surroundings and the environments of my daily life. By using black, gray and white I express feelings of discouragement and depression caused by my scrupulosity. I use  oil paint and bright colors to capture objects and elements as I see them through the lens of my scrupulosity.

Through my art making practice, I am able to process physical and embodied experiences from a different, healthier perspective. When I create art involving my mental struggles, I am able to reach out to others and show them how it feels to be inside my head, so they may be more aware of what helps me and what doesn’t.




This activity is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a grant from the Southeastern Minnesota Arts Council, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts & cultural heritage fund.




The ROOTED program at Rochester Art Center is open to artists living and working in the eleven counties surrounding Rochester and showcases the most innovative and talented artists from the region. For artists who have received artist grants from the Southeastern Minnesota Arts Council (SEMAC), the art center provides gallery space to showcase the art by the grantee. Art center curatorial staff provide grant application support, studio visits and exhibition space, but do not select the artists, who are chosen by the SEMAC jury. ROOTED exemplifies the commitment of Rochester Art Center to be a central hub for art made in Southeastern Minnesota.