Mary Pratt's painting career has been associated with Newfoundland
where she lived and painted since 1961, her perceptions, and esthetic
understanding was shaped in Fredericton, New Brunswick where she
was born in 1935.
In 1961, Pratt
graduated from Mount Allison University, Sackville, and New Brunswick
with a Bachelor of Arts Degree. There she was taught by Alex Colville,
Lawren P. Harris, and Ted Pulford. It was at Mount Allison that
she met her husband, Christopher Pratt. In 1963 they moved to St.
Mary's Bay where they painted and raised their four children - John,
Anne, Barbara, and Ned.
Mary Pratt has steadily built a national career based on her paintings,
and her active role in cultural affairs. She has exhibited in Canada's
major galleries. In 1995, The Beaverbrook Art Gallery of Fredericton
mounted a nationally touring retrospective entitled - The Art
of Mary Pratt: The Substance of Light.
In 1981, Pratt
was a member of the Applebaum-Hebert Cultural Review Committee that
was concerned with the role of the Federal Government in Canadian
culture. She was a member of the Canada Council from 1987 to 1993.
Pratt presently Co-chair's the committee to locate and built the
new Art Gallery of Newfoundland and Labrador.
In 1997, Pratt
received the Companion of the Order of Canada. She became
a member of Maclean's Honor Roll for 1997, and won the 1997 Canada
Council for the Arts Molson Prize - for the Arts. She has also received
numerous honorary degrees from universities across the country.
There are two
major books on her work.. Mary Pratt (McGraw-Hill-Ryerson
- 1989) with essays by Sandra Gwyn, and Gerda Moray; and "The
Art of Mary Pratt": The Substance of Light" (Goose Lane
Editions - 1995) by Tom Smart.
- A Personal Calligraphy - published by - 'Goose Lane Editions'
- will be available October 1, 2000. This is a selection of journal
entries, and reproductions of paintings done since 1995.
The artist currently lives, and works in her studio in St.John's,
It is difficult for people to escape being
indoctrinated my ideas beyond their own comprehension. It is easy
to be tricked into thinking that a popular ideology is a satisfactory
substitution for a personal philosophy. It is hard not to "join
the parade". My paintings investigate my observations of my own
life. It has become increasingly exciting to discover that even
within the confines of a small and uneventful life - truths - however
humble in the origins can have universal importance. I am personally
opposed to a world awash with easy information and facts. I prefer
to discover things for myself and celebrate those discoveries in
August 16, 2000