Mary Kavanagh is an artist and Professor in the Department of Art at the University of Lethbridge. She is a Tier I Board of Governors Research Chair (2020-2025), awarded for her work examining the material and embodied evidence of war and conflict, nuclear culture, and scarred landscapes. Kavanagh's artwork is exhibited across Canada and internationally, and she has contributed to numerous publications including Through Post-Atomic Eyes (McGill-Queen’s UP, 2020) and Occupying Forces (Prefix Photo, 2015). With projects in Canada, Japan, and the United States (New Mexico, Utah, Nevada, Alaska), her decade-long investigation into the complex and veiled history of nuclear armament resulted in an immersive travelling exhibition with publication, Daughters of Uranium, which encompasses drawing, sculpture, photography, film, and archival materials.
Kavanagh's work has been supported by grants from the Canada Council for the Arts, the Alberta Foundation for the Arts, the Saskatchewan Arts Board, and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada. She is Principal Investigator of a SSHRC Insight Grant for Atomic Tourist, a research/creation project focused on the Trinity test site in New Mexico. She is currently working on a project related to uranium mining in Canada.
Mary Kavanagh holds a BA in Visual Arts from the University of Guelph, an MA in Art History from the University of Western Ontario, and an MFA in Art Studio from the University of Saskatchewan. In 2007 she was Visiting Professor at Hokkai-Gakuen University in Sapporo, Japan, and in 2018 she was appointed Associate Member of the Documentary Media Research Centre (DMRC), School of Image Arts, Toronto Metropolitan University. In 2021 she was elected Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, Academy of Arts and Humanities.