Grant McConnell lives with his wife and three children in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. He works as an artist and educator. Born in York County, Ontario in 1958, he studied Fine Arts at Mount Allison University in Sackville, New Brunswick before moving to Saskatoon in 1981 where he completed a Master of Fine Arts at the University of Saskatchewan.
He is known primarily for his acrylic on wood painting which is derived from an ongoing investigation of subject matter related to Canadian historical themes. This work varies in approach, from a more meditative engagement with still life, to imagery which includes urban and rural landscape references and animal life. Mixed media is an increasingly significant part of his practice, as is three-dimensional work.
McConnell’s most recent work was exhibited at the Toronto International Art Fair in November, 2010. Our Royal Guests was exhibited at Nouveau Gallery in Regina, September 2010. River Gods was seen at Darrell Bell Gallery in Saskatoon from November 15, 2009. Exhibitions include Tales of Dominion, which was toured nationally by the Mendel Art Gallery in the early 1990's; Memory in Place, which toured Saskatchewan; The Post-Colonial Landscape:A Billboard Project, mounted by the Mendel Art Gallery; On Shifting Ground: A Four-Part Conversation From Saskatchewan, which traveled to the Hong Kong Arts Centre, Hong Kong, in 1996; Home and Animal, seen at the Swift Current Art Gallery and at Bugera/Kmet Gallery in Edmonton; and Recent Work: The Horse, at artplacement in Saskatoon. Also in 2002, Still Life Opening, a two person exhibition with Will Forrestall was mounted at the Rosemont Art Gallery in Regina and at the New Brunswick Museum in Saint John in the summer of 2004. Fresh Machine: Far From Montreal, was mounted at the Kelowna Art Gallery in 2003 in the two person exhibition Fieldworks. His stone and bronze monument marking the site of the Eaton Internment Camp of 1919 was dedicated in Saskatoon in September, 2004. The sculptural work ‘Inspired Words Portal’ was unveiled in the board room of the re-opened College Building at the University of Saskatchewan in September, 2005. His bronze huskie ‘Duke’ was installed in front of Griffiths Stadium in 2007.
His work is represented in the collections of the Mackenzie Art Gallery, Regina; The Mendel Art Gallery, Saskatoon; The Saskatchewan Arts Board; The Regina Public Library/ Dunlop Art Gallery; SaskTel; Sask Power, Co-Operators Insurance, as well as other corporate, public and private collections in Canada. He has worked as the curator of the University of Saskatchewan Art Collection, and as an independent curator. McConnell is lecturer in art and art history at St. Peter’s College in Muenster, Sk. where he has taught for 20 years, and he teaches Canadian Art History at the University of Saskatchewan. He served a term as a director of the Saskatchewan Arts Board, and is past chair and an active member of CARFAC Saskatchewan. He currently sits as President and National Spokesperson on the National Board of CARFAC, (Canadian Artists Representation).