MacGown was born in Maine in 1964. As a child, he spent much time in the woods exploring nature.
His family moved to Mississippi in 1974. He graduated from Starkville High School in 1983 and attended the Memphis College of Art for a year.
He works as a scientific illustrator at the Mississippi State University Entomology Museum, where he began working in 1988. He became Assistant Museum Curator in 2005.
At the Entomology Museum, he has developed online educational tools including a website on ants, which can be found here: http://www.mississippientomologicalmuseum.org.msstate.edu/Researchtaxapages/Formicidaehome.html
He works primarily in pen and ink, creating detailed drawings. Some of his pieces have taken up to 300 hours.
He also works with watercolor, acrylics, charcoal, wood carving, and photography. MacGown calls his style is called “subconscious meandering” and that his art is a “coping mechanicism for dealing with the world.”
Exhibitions & Shows
MacGown’s work has been featured in exhibitions and group shows in Mississippi, Texas, Illinois, Tennessee, California, Canada, the Philippines, Russia, Netherlands, France, Italy and other locations.
View a video interview with Joe
MacGown organized an event starting in 2016 called Sunday Funday, which is held six times a year in Starkville, Mississippi. The event has live music, kids activities, and live art vendors.
MacGown is Gallery Director for Minerva Gallery in Starkville, Mississippi, which displays artwork from local and international artists with a “theme of cultural, social, and community fellowship through creative endeavors.”