Hi folks. It is with great pleasure that I announce that our APLA keynote Speaker for this year's conference will be well known Canadian artist Mary Pratt. 

Although Mary Pratt’s career has been associated with Newfoundland where she has lived and painted since 1961, her perceptions and esthetic understanding were shaped in Fredericton, New Brunswick where she was born in 1935.

In her teens Mary studied with Fritz Bandtner and Alfred Pinsky at the University of New Brunswick.  In 1961 she graduated from Mount Allison University with a Bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts.  Her teachers were Lawren P. Harris, Alex Colville and Ted Pulford.

For the next twenty-five years she lived in comparative isolation in Salmonier, Newfoundland where she raised her four children and developed a style of painting based on photographed images taken from her life as a mother, cook, gardener and wife.

Because she kept a daily journal, some of these entries were collected in a book titled A Personal Calligraphy published by Goose Lane Editions in 2000.  During the latter part of the 20th century, the Canadian media became aware of Canadian art and artists.  Because of this, Ms. Pratt received strong support, not only from the CBC, but also CTV, Bravo and TV Ontario as well as useful critical discussion from the national press.

What they do not illustrate is her life on boards and committees, from the Applebaum Hebert Committee and the board of the Canada Council to the building committees of hospitals and churches, government task forces on the fishery and education to her most major public role as co-chair of the committee responsible for building The Rooms, Newfoundland and Labrador’s Art Gallery, Museum and Archives.

Throughout her career she has been awarded accolades from numerous sources, among them the Canada Council Molson Prize in the Fine Arts and honorary degrees from eight Canadian universities.  She is represented nationally and internationally in public and private collections, with dealers in Toronto, Vancouver, Edmonton and St. John’s.

She became a Companion of the Order of Canada in 1997.  In 2006 she spent the spring and summer painting the portrait of Her Excellency the Right Honourable Adrienne Clarkson.  The portrait was unveiled at Rideau Hall in Ottawa on February 15, 2007.  In March 2007, Canada Post launched two new stamps featuring Mary Pratt’s works as a part of their continuing Art Canada Series.

Mary Pratt now lives and paints in her home/studio in St. John’s, Newfoundland.

We look forward with interest to what she will have to say and hope you will all plan to attend

Atlantic Baptist University