Editor’s note: You’ll recognize Joe MacGown’s work in our latest anthology, The Book of Bugs.
Joe A. MacGown is a self-taught artist originally from Maine but later relocated to Starkville, Mississippi where he worked as a Research Technician/Scientific Illustrator at Mississippi Entomological Museum from 1988 until retiring in 2020. The allure of insects was too much, and he returned to work part time at the museum.
MacGown’s work at the museum has consisted of taxonomic studies of insects (especially ants), web design, outreach, macrophotography, and scientific illustration. His illustrations are often done in an older traditional illustrative style using inks on various surfaces, or occasionally with mixed media such as watercolor and ink.
When not working as an entomologist, MacGown spends much of his time creating fantastical surreal art that may be heavily influenced by his microscopic studies of insects and other organisms. His works range from energetic surreal paintings to highly detailed mixed media and pen drawings. MacGown’s work has been featured locally to internationally.
Learn more about Joe MacGown at http://www.joemacgown.com.