Juliana McDonald is a Fine Arts graduate from the University of Ottawa, magna cum laude (2000). She has shown her work in solo and group exhibitions throughout the Ottawa area, including the Annexe Gallery (Ottawa Art Gallery), the Karsh-Masson Gallery, the Ottawa School of Art Gallery (Shenkman Centre), and the former Sussex (City Hall) Gallery. Also, her work has been exhibited internationally in the Hague, Netherlands, and in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA. In 2015 and 2019, her paintings were featured in a video presentation of international artworks at the Venice Biennale.
McDonald has worked from her studio at the Enriched Bread Artists in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada since 2000. She is an active member of the local arts community, having served on numerous committees and boards, such as the Ottawa Arts Council, the Ottawa Art Gallery, and the Enriched Bread Artists. Her work is held in private, corporate, and public collections, including the City of Ottawa’s Public Art Collection. She has self-published two artist’s books called Observances, Following the Path: an artist’s journey (2011), and Monarch Pages (2016).
My art work is strongly influenced by many years of canoeing and hiking in the Canadian Shield as well as daily walks in the woods and fields close to my home in Ottawa, Canada. Through my work I explore concepts of impermanence, fragility, and habitat loss in a natural environment that is ever-changing and threatened by human encroachment. Much of my work has been motivated by the disappearing habitats of the endangered Monarch butterfly.
I develop my ideas through a combination of oil painting, large-scale paper works, photo-based installations, and artist’s books. The textured surfaces of my paintings (done with a palette knife) and the delicate materials used in the paper works carry their own messages of transience and fluctuation. Through the materiality of my work, the intention is to awaken a physical and emotional response that allows viewers to immerse themselves in a personal journey of discovery and contemplation of meaning.