Bruce McColl was born in Waterford, Michigan in 1966. A notable ice hockey player in his youth, he attended Cranbrook School and received his BA from Brown University in 1988, while competing on the varsity level for both schools. After graduation Bruce played professional ice hockey in Gotland, Sweden, before retiring from his life on the ice. In 1994, Bruce was awarded an MFA in painting from Wayne State University where he studied with noted figurative painter Robert Wilbert.

Following his graduate studies, Bruce was an instructor of fine art at Tabor Academy, MA, and an instructor of art and art history at Bristol Community College in Fall River, MA. Between 2005 and 2014, Bruce was the Director of the Currier Museum Art Center. A recent graduate of the National Guild's Community Arts Education Leadership Institute, today Bruce is the Director of Engagement at the Currier Museum of Art where he oversees education and fundraising. In 2018, recognizing its impactful community service in arts education the Currier Museum was awarded the Citizens Bank Champions in Action Award for New Hampshire.

Since 2010, Bruce has been the subject of multiple solo exhibitions including those at AVA in Lebanon, NH, and the Alva de Mars Chapel Art Center, St. Anselm College, in Manchester, NH. In 2012, Bruce and Jim McCord were the subject of the exhibition "Connections: Exploring the Ties between Poet Jim McCord and Painter Bruce McColl" at the Mandeville Gallery, Union College, Schenectady, New York, which featured works created in collaboration over a 10 year span from 2000-2010. In 2014, Bruce was the subject of a solo exhibition "Flowers, Orchards and Mountains: Paintings by Bruce McColl" at McGowan Fine Art. In 2017, Bruce exhibited new paintings in "The Color of Seasons" at McGowan Fine Art and highlights of 15 years of paintings and drawings in "Bruce McColl: In Full Bloom" at Southern New Hampshire University.

Bruce has been awarded a Pollock-Krasner Foundation Grant, two Fellowships in Painting from “ArtWorks!” in New Bedford, MA, and two residencies at the Vermont Studio Center in Johnson, VT. His work is included in the permanent collections of the Currier Museum of Art in Manchester, NH; Saint Anselm College in Manchester, NH; and, Union College in Schenectady, NY.