Printmaker’s work takes flight

Courtney Kravig-McGuire ‘s “Blessed Be the Birds” exhibit is on display at City Hall.

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Posted December 20, 2022 | By Julie Garisto

Courtney Kravig-McGuire [Supplied]

“And the Sparrows would take Wing, If I were King” – 19.25×30.25” – Lithography and mixed media

Artist Courtney Kravig-McGuire took an “Intro to Printmaking” class during her last semester of community college but had no idea that it would forever alter the course of her artistic career.

“It was more of a fluke than anything,” the Ocala-based illustrator admitted, but she fell in love with printmaking and decided to major in it when she transferred to the Herron School of Art and Design in Indianapolis.

“While I was still in school, lithography was my favorite print medium, which involves drawing on stone and printing the image from that stone,” she explained. “Since graduating, I have been more focused on relief printing with linoleum because I can do that from home. I do plan to eventually buy a press and have my own lithography setup at home or in a studio of some sort.”

In her current exhibition, “Blessed Be the Birds,” Kravig-McGuire uses printmaking techniques to explore connections between nature and spirituality in her work.

The free exhibition will be on display through June 9 at the Clerk’s Office at Ocala City Hall, 110 SE Watula Ave. Visitors to the city government office will be able to browse the intricate prints from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. Kravig-McGuire also participates in Ocala’s First Friday Art Walk events.

“Blessed be thy Flight” – 19×26.5” – Lithography and mixed media

She said her interest in drawing animals started in art school.

“The Act of Building” 12×13” framed – digital print on cotton rag paper

“I love to watch the white ibis in my neighborhood where they like to gather,” she said. “The hawks like to hunt around the football field at the park down the road. I love watching the cormorants and anhingas and sandhill cranes in my grandpa’s backyard; and I often see the vultures flying overhead from pretty much everywhere in town.”

Born in Washington state, she spent ages 3-11 in Minnesota, and ages 11-26 in greater Indianapolis. An aging family member brought Kravig-McGuire’s parents to Ocala, and she followed suit.

The budding printmaker admits that she’s not the most “outdoorsy” person and struggles with various neuroses about it.

“I hate bugs, have a phobia of bees and wasps, and the heat gives me migraines,” she said, adding that, even so, she plans to explore more local wildlife and forests.

Kravig-McGuire’s Etsy shop, the Inky Ibis, pays tribute to one of Florida’s most elegant, ever-present and iconic birds.

She has an exquisite tattoo of a sandhill crane, which she initially sketched. Her crested caracara tattoo is an original by Naomi Shanti at Alchemy Tattoo, who no doubt has been an influence as tattoo art is her next frontier.

For now, though, her printmaking work is taking flight.

“Birds are just magical to me,” the artist effused. “They mean so many different things to different people. They occupy the sky; they watch over us. They have been on earth longer than most other species. … I think that I’m enamored with them for the same reason so many other people are, and it’s just a feeling of awe that is hard to put your finger on.”

To see Courtney Kravig-McGuire’s portfolio, visit For more information about the art exhibit, call the City of Ocala Cultural Arts and Sciences Division at (352) 629-8447, email or visit the City of Ocala’s Art in City Spaces webpage.

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