Michèle Mackasey: Cheryl Kemp and her Family (detail), 2010, 5ft h x 6.5ft w, Acrylic on linen

Michèle Mackasey: face à nous

September 30, 2011 to January 8, 2012

Saskatoon based artist, Michèle Mackasey has created a new body of work that puts the spotlight on single mothers. These large portrait paintings of local families capture the bond between mothers and their children, as well as point to the complex family dynamics where the father is literally out of the picture. In Mackasey’s life-size oil and acrylic paintings, the artist imbues her subjects with the dignity and stature that has been associated with portrait painting for centuries. Yet these portraits depict families, who continue to live on the margins, facing prejudice and economic hardship with mothers balancing the roles of sole provider and caregiver. Mackasey utilizes body language, facial expression and composition with great empathy in this moving and insightful series of paintings. 

Michèle Mackasey addresses issues of humanity and social justice in her work. She studied drawing and painting at the Ontario College of Art and Design, and has shown her work in exhibitions in Saskatchewan and Ontario. Mackasey is originally from northern Quebec and grew up in Ontario. The artist would like to thank the Saskatchewan Arts Board for project support.


The Mendel Art Gallery is pleased to host Michèle Mackasey as artist-in-residence for the duration of this exhibition.  The artist intends to be painting her next portrait in the gallery on most Sundays from 1 to 4 pm, and most Wednesday and Friday afternoons from 12:30 to 3 pm.