©2018 by Sally McKay. Proudly created with Wix.com

some art writing

Art is for everyone. I always want to write about contemporary art in an accessible way. That said, some of my writing is pretty academic (especially my PhD dissertation!) but most of the time I want my words to reach beyond the boundaries of specialized art education. My work on the Toronto art magazine, Lola, was a formative experience. Catherine Osborne and I co-owned and operated the magazine from 1997-2003. Our primary goal was to make contemporary art accessible for broad and diverse audiences. This remains a priority in all my art-related projects.

I have been writing about art almost as long as I have been making it. Recently I've written a number of exhibition catalogue essays that I'm really proud of, but they aren't online so I haven't included them here. They are listed in my cv, along with all the other art writing that isn't on this page. Below are a few samples of texts that are currently available online.

On the Brain: How we encounter art is far more complex than neuroscientists suggest  (Canadian Art, 2018)

An essay for Canadian Art magazine offering some new ways to think about art and pleasure. 

The Affects of Animated Gifs (ArtFCity, 2018)

This essay on animated gifs and embodied aesthetics was originally published at artandeducation.net in 2009. After many years they took it down and it has recently been republished/archived at ArtFCity, which I am very happy about.

"Carry Forward" (C Magazine, Spring 2018)

A short review of the exhibition Carry Forward, curated by Lisa Myers for Kitchener Waterloo Art Gallery and featuring artists Maria Thereza Alves, Marjorie Beaucage, Deanna Bowen, Dana Claxton, Brenda Draney, John Hampton, Jamelie Hassan, Mike MacDonald, Nadia Myre, Krista Belle Stewart and Maika’i Tubbs.

Kristin Lucas's Refresh: Embodied Imaginings (RACAR, Vol. 40, no. 1 2015)

A short, theoretical essay about the ways an art project by Kristin Lucas makes me think about thought as a physical process (and digital files as physical things).

The Pictorial Intelligence of Monica Tap (ArtFCity, 2012)

A critical review of Monica Tap's 2012 exhibition Six Ways from Sunday at Wynick Tuck Gallery.

Report from the Academy: Q&A about Curatorial Power with Lisa Myers (ArtFCity, 2011)

An interview with Lisa Myers about her collaborative curatorial practice, conducted back when she could still be called an "emerging" curator.

Report from the Academy: Q&A with Harbourfront Centre Curator Patrick Macaulay (ArtFCity, 2011)

An interview with Patrick Macaulay about his grass-roots curatorial practice, conducted when he was Head of Visual Arts for Harbourfront Centre in Toronto.

The Fluff Stands Alone (Canadian Art, 2004)

A profile of artist Allyson Mitchell (an oldie but a goodie).

a blog

When Lola magazine closed up shop in 2003, I turned to blogging as an outlet for accessible art writing and ideas. I ran an active blog at digitalmediatree for several years. Artist Lorna Mills was a frequent commenter and eventually she became a partner in making top posts and running the blog. For the last few years I have not been making blog posts and Lorna has been the only one contributing. For early blog posts by me you can browse the archive, or check out the current pages hosted by Lorna. Her work is great. 

Repositioning Neuroaesthetics Through Contemporary Art (York University, PhD, 2014)

This is an entire PhD dissertation. Through this research I learned a ton of useful things about art and science that I use in my art, teaching, and research in many different ways. As a piece of writing it is long and definitely academic. Useful, maybe, for students doing research on feminist approaches to art & neuroscience & embodied experience.