2018 Artist in Residence

Melanie MacDonald was born and raised in St. Catharines. She works full-time as a painter in her downtown studio and is an active member of the Niagara Artist Centre. She has exhibited in public and commercial galleries across the province, in upstate New York, and often works on large-scale murals and public art projects.

By painting mass-produced, cheapened objects of the not-so-distant past, my work brings to mind the hand or touch of a brush of the original sculptor and painter. By re-framing them as large-scale paintings the viewer is given the opportunity to reacquaint themselves with these lost or forgotten domestic objects.

My subjects have ranged from vignettes of dirty dishes, vintage board games, scrapbooks, and ceramic figurines to studies of fishing lures, pond life, and lichen.

I regard my paintings as visual poems that mark the brief, curious moments that punctuate the everyday. In the tradition of still life painting, my paintings arrest time for the sake of contemplating the transient nature of our lives. As Dennis Lee has observed in his exploration of Al Purdy’s poetry, “the everyday physical world can at times seem other-worldly, an alternate galaxy that is both utterly present and wholly transparent, a window into some ineffable dimension where [the individual] is at once lost and at home.”It is this kind of window that I attempt to realize with paint on canvas.