|Birth name||Mary Frances West|
March 15, 1935 |
Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada
|Training||Mount Allison University|
She is the daughter of attorney William J. West, who served as the Minister of Justice of New Brunswick from 1952 to 1958 and Katherine West (née MacMurray), she has one sister, Barbara West Cross. She attended Mount Allison University, studying Fine Arts under Alex Colville, Ted Pulford, and Lawren P. Harris. She met the artist Christopher Pratt while they were both students there; they married in 1958, three years prior to her graduation with a Bachelor of Fine Art in 1961. They moved to Newfoundland. where, in 1964, they settled in St. Catherines, St. Mary's Bay, a small community south of St. John's. They have four children: John, Anne, Barbara, and Edwin. She and Christopher separated in 1990.
Her first solo exhibition was held at the Memorial University Art Gallery in St. John's in 1967. In 1996, she was named Companion of the Order of Canada. In 1995, the touring exhibition The Art of Mary Pratt: The Substance of Light was organized by the Beaverbrook Art Gallery in Fredericton. The accompanying catalogue won numerous awards and was included in Great Canadian Books of the Century. In 1997, she was awarded the Canadian Molson Prize from the Canada Council for $50 000. She was made a member of the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts.
In 2007, Canada Post issued stamps in its "Art Canada" series in honour of Mary Pratt. The $0.52 (domestic rate) stamp featured her Jelly Shelf (1999). The souvenir sheet included the $0.52 stamp, as well as a $1.55 (international rate) stamp with her Iceberg in the North Atlantic (1991).
Since the 1980s, Pratt has given addresses and published essays in periodicals such as The Globe and Mail and Glass Gazette. Her paintings have been exhibited in most major galleries in Canada, reproduced in magazines such as Saturday Night, Chatelaine, and Canadian Art. Her work is found in many prominent public, corporate, and private collections, including those of the National Gallery of Canada, The Rooms, the New Brunswick Museum, Beaverbrook Art Gallery, Vancouver Art Gallery, Art Gallery of Ontario, and Canada House in England.
Mary Pratt lives in St. John’s, Newfoundland where she continues to paint and write. Her most recent shows include "New Paintings and Works on Paper" at the Mira Godard Gallery in Toronto, Canada (May/June 2012) and Inside Light at the Equinox Gallery in Vancouver, Canada (May/June 2011).
Mary Pratt's works include:
- The Back Porch (1966)
- Caplin (1969)
- Eviscerated Chickens (1971)
- Red Currant Jelly (1972)
- Amaryllis (1975)
- Pratt's work at the National Gallery of Canada
- Pratt's work at the Art Gallery of Newfoundland & Labrador
- Mary Pratt at The Canadian Encyclopedia
- Mary Pratt at Mira Godard Gallery, Toronto.
- Mary Pratt on Trinity Galleries
- Library and Archives Canada: Celebrating Women's Achievements