Michael Mercil was born in Crookston, MN and lives in Columbus, OH where he is Associate Professor and Chair of Graduate Studies in the Department of Art at The Ohio State University. Her received an MFA degree from the University of Chicago in 1984, and his BFA from the Minneapolis College of Art and Design in 1978.
Mercil's artwork has recently been exhibited at Socrates Sculpture Park, New York City; the Columbus Museum of Art; the North Dakota Museum of Art; the Fabric Workshop and Museum, Philadelphia; and the University of Virginia Art Museum. In 2006 he planted The Beanfield--a project in partnership with the Wexner Center for the Arts, the OSU Department of Art Living Culture Initiative, and the Social Responsibility Initiative in the College of Food, Agriculture, and Environmental Sciences. His public commissions include Teardrop Park in New York City, and the Allegheny Riverfront Park in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania--both with artist Ann Hamilton and landscape architect Michael Van Valkenburgh.
Mercil's awards include an Ohio Arts Council Fellowship, a Progressive Architecture Citation Award, a McKnight Foundation Visual Arts Fellowship, a National Endowment for the Arts Artist Design Fellowship, and a Jerome Foundation Visual Arts Fellowship. He has been a visiting artist and/or lecturer at the Myers School of Art, University of Akron; Virginia Commonwealth University; the Minneapolis College of Art and Design Institute for Public Art, Harvard University Graduate School of Design; and Antioch College. A former contributor to PLACES magazine, Mercil's writings have also appeared in TriQuarterly, and Public Art Review.