Donald McVeigh

About the Artist

Don McVeigh was born in Edmonton, Alberta in 1951, and received his Bachelor of Fine Arts in  printmakingA print is a shape or mark made from a block or plate or other object that is covered with wet colour (usually ink) and then pressed onto a flat surface, such as paper or textile. Most prints can be produced over and over again by re-inking the printing block or plate. Printmaking can be done in many ways, including using an engraved block or stone, transfer paper, or a film negative. The making of fine prints is generally included in the graphic arts, while the work of artists whose designs are made to satisfy the needs of more commercial clients are included in graphic design. (  in from the University of Alberta. He moved to Regina, Saskatchewan in 1976 and completed his Master of Fine Arts degree in 1978. He lived in Regina after graduating and later moved to Saskatoon.

McVeigh moved to Ottawa, Ontario in 1985, and today (2009) he teaches at the Ottawa School of Art. He is an accomplished watercolourist, printmaker and illustrator. His work is found in many private and public collections in Canada and abroad.

A notice of an exhibition opening at the Southern Alberta Art Gallery described McVeigh’s works in the exhibit – similar to Feather Head and Hammer Head (his two works presented here on the ARTSask website) - in the following way:

McVeigh fabricates  still lifeA picture of inanimate objects. Common still life subjects include vessels, food, flowers, books, clothing. (  maquettes from assembled materials;  kitschArt characterized by vapidly sentimental, often pretentious poor taste. It is typically clumsy, repetitive, cheesy, and slickly commercial. The art critic Clement Greenberg (American, 1909-1994) defined kitsch in the 1930s as ersatz culture, "for those who, insensible to the values of genuine culture, are hungry nevertheless for the diversion that only culture of some sort can provide." Kitsch can be deceptive, he warned, adding, "It has many different levels, and some of them are high enough to be dangerous to the naïve seeker of true light." Artists whose works have been considered kitsch are William-Adolphe Bouguereau (French, 1825-1905), Maxfield Parrish (American, 1870-1966), and Norman Rockwell (American, 1894-1978). Although their works are more seriously considered and even admired by art critics and historians today, there are many other artists whose works continue to be labeled kitsch. Among contemporary examples, the work of Thomas Kinkade (American, 1958-), whose frothing oceans, idyllic cottages and feverishly colorful gardens bear titles like The Blessings of Spring and Hometown Evening, have been called kitsch. His website, nevertheless says that he's "America's most collected living artist," and the corporation that bears his name, and manufactures photographic reproductions of his paintings (adding actual brushstrokes to many of them), has been making annual profits in the millions of dollars for several years. (    objects, wall coverings, fabrics and natural materials such as flowers and feathers. He renders these diverse elements into painted images which have an impact far beyond that of the purely photographic. The works in this current exhibition focus on objects which have a quality of effigy, totem or fetish object. McVeigh presents us with a pantheon of images seemingly imbued with magical power or animate being. (Southern Alberta Art Gallery, undated)


Canadian Heritage University of Regina Mackenzie Art Gallery Mendel Art Gallery Sask Learning