Campus Life

Professor Mary Kavanagh elected to the Royal Society of Canada

Recognized as an artist and scholar of exceptional caliber and an expert in interdisciplinary art practice, Professor Mary Kavanagh is being honoured for contributions to her field by being elected a Fellow to the Royal Society of Canada, Academy of Arts and Humanities.

Kavanagh’s artistic contributions are extensive and critically significant.

Kavanagh is a Tier I Board of Governors Research Chair and Chair of the Department of Art in the Faculty of Fine Arts. She joined the University of Lethbridge in 2000 having earned degrees in art studio and art history from the University of Guelph, the University of Western Ontario, and the University of Saskatchewan. Since that time, Kavanagh has advanced a prodigious research agenda, consistently confronting existential issues with a material engagement that is conceptually and visually exacting, while establishing a distinguished record of leadership in her field of expertise.

“This recognition is only possible because of the active and generous support of peers, colleagues and students over many years,” says Kavanagh. “I have tremendous gratitude for all those who have valued and celebrated my work and efforts throughout my career. It’s an honour to be invited into fellowship with the RSC.”

Deftly weaving artistic and scholarly methods, Kavanagh’s examination of the material evidence of war, industry, and weaponized landscapes has been supported by grants from the Canada Council for the Arts, the Alberta Foundation for the Arts, and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC). Projects in Canada, Japan, Italy and the United States (Utah, New Mexico, Nevada, Alaska) illustrate the universality and global reach of Kavanagh's work, which is of further relevance to current scholarship in nuclear culture and post-atomic studies. Through exhibitions, lectures and publications, she makes visible the entanglement of public and private realms and the encoding of political conflict on the body, translated through inventive forms of artistic presentation and public dissemination.

Kavanagh’s artistic contributions are extensive and critically significant. In the last 25 years, her videography, photographic work, drawings, archives and installations have been presented in over three peer-reviewed, solo or thematic group exhibitions per year, a remarkable pace of exhibition, and a solid indication of her abiding commitment to her work. Her impressive list of exhibitions in prestigious institutions, participation in numerous international residencies, and frequent contributions to public debate and civic engagement, illustrate the lasting impact of her work.

Professor Mary Kavanagh’s election will be formally recognized at the Royal Society of Canada’s meeting at McGill University in November.

For more, see this profile.