|Bonnie Baxter was born in Texarkana Texas and has had a studio and residence in Val-David, Québec since 1972. She is a interdisciplinary artist who has maintained an extensive exhibition record both nationally and internationally for more than 4 decades. Her work ranges from Public-Art installations to large-scale pieces in Print Media, video projection and Sculpture.
She studied at Cranbrook Academy of Art in Michigan and received an MFA degree from Vermont College, Norwich University. She lectures extensively including workshops in Canada, Mexico, USA, Turkey and China. She has taught in Concordia’s Print Media Program since 1984. Baxter has been awarded grants from The Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec, Canada Council for the Arts, and the Concordia University Part-Time Faculty Association. She has participated in international print biennials in Quebec, Mexico, Russia, Hungary, India, and Taiwan R.O.C..
|In 1982 she founded the custom print studio the Atelier du Scarabée in the mountain village of Val-David, Québec. At the Atelier she collaborated and produced etchings, relief prints, and screen-prints for a select group of artists including the full corpus of etchings for Jean Paul Riopelle over a 10 year period. In 2005 The Musée d'art contemporain des Laurentides presented Rewind, a 10 year survey of Baxter’s work; the exhibition then traveled across Canada and the USA. In the same year this artistic achievement was awarded the Prix à la création artistique from Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec, in the context of the Grands Prix de la culture des Laurentides. Her third survey exhibition with The MAC LAU. Musée d'art contemporain des Laurentides,. Bonnie Baxter : Présent | Passé | Futur (until January 27, 2019) includes works from her series Jane’s Journey, The Tragic and Premature Death of Jane, and RatKind including an extensive site specific installation in downtown Saint-Jérôme’s business district (330 Rue Saint-Georges).
Her dedication to community engagement in the arts and her contributions as an educator were acknowledged in 2016 when she was awarded the President’s Excellence in Teaching award from Concordia University and again in 2017 when she was awarded the Charles Biddle Prize by The Minister of Immigration, Diversity, Inclusion and Culture for All. In 2018 she received a lifetime achievement award, the Prix les Grands Soleils, from Le Conseil de la cultures des Laurentides (Québec).
I believe in bold colours and strong images made subtle through layers of content, drawing from past, present and imagined futures. I would rather see these layers as opportunities, evidence of the simultaneity, synchronicity, serendipity that abounds in life. Most of my practice has been para-autobiographical, applying the freeing premise of a parallel self to pull tendrils of influence toward my work, absorbing the rich, varied, beautiful and absurd into some coherent narrative, trying to make sense of my world.
For “RatKind,” my most recent series, photography and video sessions were taken over the summer in my garden, a secluded Val-David setting. Artists/actors, friends and others wearing a rat mask were given broad parameters for poses and actions, all drawing from personal experience in response to the notion of "trouble in paradise." Regular digital and infrared cameras were used as well as drone photography. Along with digital prints I created a series of woodcut prints using laser engraving technology.
“RatKind” is a dystopian, yet hopeful, series that recognizes the need for human-kind to overcome its fears and prejudices in order to move towards a more inclusive, accepting society. It imagines a future in which alternative forms of community have arisen, inviting greater social diversity, welcoming all forms of intelligence as it strives towards a sustainable future and mourns the passing of an almost incomprehensible past.
Bonnie Baxter is represented by Division Gallery, Montreal