Born and raised in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Caitlin McDonald first attended Community College of Allegheny County. While there, she became highly involved and organized an art history trip to Barcelona, Paris and Rome. After two years, Caitlin transferred to Edinboro University of Pennsylvania. While at Edinboro, she worked with faculty and administration to bring back a canceled textiles class; was a summer intern with Todd Pownell at TAP Studios; and then graduated in 2014 with a BFA in Jewelry/Metalsmithing, BSAE in Art Education and a minor in art history. She received MFA in Jewelry/Metalsmithing at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville and is currently an artist in residence at Pocosin Arts in Columbia, NC.
My current body of work concentrates on different manifestations of emotional and psychological abuse. Often, signs of emotional and psychological abuse go undetected, and there is frequently a false façade that shields the reality of the situation. My work seeks to strip away the façade to reveal the mental, emotional, and physical toll of this abuse.
I combine traditional metalsmithing techniques with alternative materials that insinuate decay, such as pig intestine, broken cement, and rusted steel. This creates a visual dichotomy between decay and conventionally beautiful materials. Each process implemented in a piece is chosen specifically to facilitate the core idea of that work. I employ piercings with delicate structures, while flowers formed from pig intestine relate to a visceral fragility. My use of cement implies strength and durability, even if the material is broken. Soft floral forms fabricated from sheet metal allude to delicateness while being durable in material. Contrasting and pairing these various techniques and materials support the themes of emotional and psychological abuse in my body of work.