Meet the Artist: Michael McFarland, Michael McFarland Studio

Vanguard 600
The fusion of art, life and history.

By Kelli Comer

Honoring United States veterans who selflessly served their country is something we as Americans should honor, respect and remember every day of our lives—not just once a year on Veterans Day. Local artist Michael McFarland chooses to honor these esteemed individuals through his gorgeous artwork depicting the few and the proud, along with historical battle scenes, murals and more.

“Inspiration comes from following through on curiosity—curiosity on a subject, curious if there is interest in it, curious if I can create something that’s never been seen before,” says Michael.

“I am driven largely by curiosity. Artwork allows the pursuit of this curiosity through to completion because of its very low cost.”

Michael received two Bachelor of the Arts degrees from Kent State University: one in Business Administration and one in Fine Art and Graphic Design. Having worked 11 years in advertising, with nine design awards, Michael began painting full-time in 1997. His notable clients have included Jack Bogle, founder of The Vanguard Group of Mutual Funds; The Akron Zoo; The William McKinley Presidential Library & Museum and numerous Veterans Affairs Medical Centers across the nation.

“Eight years ago, I met and befriended Bruce Killian, the commander of VFW Post 349 in Fairlawn, Ohio. I gave him an imagery of President Abraham Lincoln to post, because the motto of the VA hospital system is a phrase taken from his second inaugural address,” exclaims Michael.

“From there, I attended numerous veterans’ meetings and banquets, eventually leading me to display my work at the HD Expo in 2008 in Las Vegas, a trade show that caters to the hospitality and interior design industries.”

Michael McCallian, an interior designer from the Carl Stokes VA Medical Center in Cleveland, was moved by Michael’s work at the expo and suggested he create artwork for VA Medical Centers.

Michael is noted for the significant volume of research that goes into his imagery. He visits historical sites and building models, contacts professional historians and constantly scours books and other media to learn about his subject. Research is the cornerstone of getting his interpretation right.

“Art has been a major part of my life. You could describe it as a calling,” Michael explains.

“I am highly aware of ‘time’ and enjoy knowing many of the creations I’ve made will most likely long outlive me. Also, every day thousands of people see my work in public. I find great satisfaction in these facts.”

To reach Michael, you can email him at or call 330-634-6011. Visit his website at to learn more about the artist and his work. Find him on Facebook

Categories: Arts & Entertainment