Vanessa McKernan

Artist member since 2018
Toronto , Ontario

Vanessa McKernan's paintings begin with a focus on the narration of a dream, fantasy, memory or experience. Portrayed through exaggerated gesture and broken posture, the figures in her work grapple with the fragility of their existence in an increasingly socially and physically unstable world. McKernan holds a BFA in Studio Art from Concordia University and works out of a studio located in Toronto's historic distillery district.

Inside the Studio


How long have you been creating art?

I would say I started seriously making art 16 years ago when I was at Concordia University doing my BFA. It took me about 10 years from when I started to get to a place where the majority of my week was spent in the studio. And though during those years I was frustrated by having to do other work, I see now how valuable all the parts of that journey were.

Your favourite spot in Toronto right now

The Brickworks

What do you listen to when you work?

Podcast junkie!

What artists do you admire right now?

Lately I've been really into artists like Janet Werner and Tina Berning who look at fashion and the body in really different but interesting ways

When I'm not making art, I'm (a) ...

Graphic designer and mother of a 2 year old

I'm really good at making (a) ...

Sourdough bread

Select Past Exhibitions

Wallspace Gallery, Ottawa


ARTA Gallery, Toronto
Wonderous Ways


Better Living Centre, Toronto
The Artist Project Contemporary Art Fair


Gallery 555, Toronto
Day Trip


Partial Gallery Pop-Up, Toronto
Layers; Women Artists of Our City


Nathan Phillips Square, Toronto
Toronto Outdoor Art Exhibition


Better Living Centre, Toronto
The Artist Project Contemporary Art Fair


Earls Court Gallery, Hamilton


MakeWorks studio, Toronto
Bean Art Exhibition


Ben Navee Gallery, Toronto
Piano Children


The Artist Project, TYPE Competition
Third Place Winner


Concordia University, Cecil Buller John J.A. Murphy Scholarship
Annual Scholarship


Descant Magazine: Issue 163
The Dead, the divine and the in-between


Now What Podcast
Taking the Leap; An interview with Vanessa McKernan


San Jose, Costa Rica
The Julia and David White Artist Residency


Concordia University

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