Layl McDill grew up on the edge of the prairie in boom town Gillette, Wyoming. She has lived in
Minneapolis since 1994. She and her husband Josh Blanc started Clay Squared to Infinity, a tile showroom and art studio/showroom in 1996. She has two adult daughters. !
Early influences were Dr. Suess and stickers. Growing up in Wyoming she didn’t see any real art beyond “Cowboy and Indian” art but during the summer between Junior and Senior year of High School she went on a family trip to the Smithsonian and was shocked and amazed by Pop
Art. She was also greatly influenced by her grandmother’s collection of Indonesian and Chinese art that she brought back after living in Indonesia for many years.
She went to Casper College in Casper, Wyoming and then Columbus College of Art and Design in Columbus, Ohio where she received her degree in Illustration graduating in 1993. After art school she illustrated a few children’s books for a small publisher but decided early on that making her own art and selling it directly was a better direction for her. She fell into doing art shows and showing at art centers early on. Her work has been shown in over 15 states, at galleries, art centers and festivals. Layl also grew up participating in 4-H and especially obsessed with entering every craft project possible in the county fair. This meant many trips to the library to discover how to do all these
crafts. Possibly it was this willingness to try anything that led her to try polymer clay for the first time after art school. Her early attempts at polymer clay mostly were added to her mixed media sculptures. Gradually clay became to be her primary medium. By the time her youngest daughter was born she was switching to all clay. It was the perfect medium to bring everywhere with two small children and it’s possibilities were endless. The technique of millefiore is Layl’s primary focus. She layers colored clay to create pictures of animals, flowers, and objects so that every time you slice the “cane” you get multiples of that
same image. Her whimsical sculptures are covered with these tiny hidden images.
Selected Recent Awards:
2018 Best in Sculpture, Edwardsville Art Fair (juried art fair)
2018 Newcomers Award, Edward’s Place Fine Art Fair (juried art fair)
2018 Second place overall, “3rd Annual Conroe Art League Nat. Invitational Show”, (national juried show)
2018 Honorable Mention, Wings and Water Biannual (national juried show)
2017 Second Place in Fine Art, Historic Shaw Art Fair, St. Louis IL (juried art fair)
2017 Best in Sculpture, Oconomowoc Art Fair, WI (juried art fair)
2017 Award of Excellence, College Hill Art Fair, Cedar Falls, IA (juried art fair)
2017 First Place, Glen Ellyn Art Fair, Chicago, IL (juried art fair)
2016 Ameren Award of Excellence, Laumeir Sculpture Park (juried art fair)
2016 Essentials Art Exhibit, First Place 3-D, Visual Arts Minnesota, St. Cloud, MN (juried gallery show)
2016 Glen Ellyn Festival, Glen Ellyn Festival, Merit Award (juried art fair)
2016 Arts in Harmony International Juried Show, Mississippi River Bluffs Consortium Award,
2016 Mt. Dora Arts Festival, Wendy Alderman Award, Mt. Dora, FL (juried art fair)
2013 Best in show, Banfill Locke Member show !