MITTENISM AND THE QUEST FOR EMPATHY
This exhibition features a recent acquisition of etchings and lithography prints by renowned interdisciplinary artist Rita McKeough. Over the last thirty years, McKeough has been a major contributor to Canada’s strong reputation in audio, media installation and performance based visual art. Early on in her career, McKeough translated her ideas through etching and lithography techniques, creating several series of works that use inanimate objects to explore the complex emotion of empathy. Is this ball ok?, The Canadian Cookie Association and Manifesto of Mittenism initially appear childlike but through time reveal a conceptually complex narrative balanced with a quirky and sometimes dark absurdity.
Rita McKeough was born in Antigonish, Nova Scotia, studied printmaking and sculpture at the University of Calgary and received her BFA in 1975. She returned to the East Coast to attend the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design (NSCAD) in Halifax and was awarded her MFA in 1979. Throughout her career she has instructed at numerous universities and art colleges across Canada, including NASCAD, the University of Calgary, the University of Manitoba and the Banff Centre, and since 2007 she has instructed full time at the Alberta College of Art and Design (ACAD). She has become an influential role model and mentor who inspires colleagues and encourages younger artists.
65 Running Feet