ONCE WILD HERE // artist Mackenzie Berg

This name I’ve given to my works of art and creative writing was inspired by the advice of Isadora Duncan (“You were once wild here. Don’t let them tame you.”). The pieces I create are inspired by a homeland that afflicted me with a never-ending need to explore. This homeland is the American West, where I was born and that, no matter how far away each journey takes me, I am always carrying within.

I wanted to be an artist as a small child. Instead, I let “practicality” lead me down many other avenues, dropping out of art school and instead pursuing anthropology—from there, journalism, international humanitarian work, freelance writing and editing, and finally, the medical field. My ‘real job’ as an ER nurse has proven to me, above all else, that life can be unapologetically unkind and that the things which bring us joy should be shared.

Surely, creating art to share with others will never be practical. But I am endlessly grateful to be supported and encouraged by folks who appreciate what I create, and who have given me the ability to spend a little less time in the hospital and a little more time with paint on my face.

Thanks, always, for being here. For appreciating. For letting me make you something meaningful.