Photo of Michelle Forsyth
Photo of Michelle Forsyth
Michelle Forsyth
Associate Professor
Faculty of Art, Graduate Studies

Area(s) of Expertise

Water-based Painting, Professional Practices, Colour Theory and Practice


Born in Vancouver, BC; Lives and works in Toronto, ON & Vancouver, BC. Michelle Forsyth employs a diverse array of material processes–including cut-paper, painting, printmaking, sculpture, design, photography, sewing, and weaving–in order to convey the poetics of her lived experiences. As such, she seeks beauty in her surroundings and takes pleasure in the respite it affords her. She is a proponent of decorative repetition and champions the power of colour to stir emotions, and elicit forgotten moments. For the past fifteen years she has made work in relation to public accounts of personal tragedy, and private tales of public spectacle. More recently, however, she has turned her attention inward, drawing meaning from her private life and the domestic struggles that ensue in the space of her home. Forsyth holds an MFA from Rutgers University (New Brunswick, NJ); and a BFA from the University of Victoria (Victoria, BC). Her work has been included in exhibitions at venues including: Mulherin + Pollard, (New York, NY); Zaum Projects (Lisbon, Portugal); Pentimenti Gallery (Philadelphia, PA); Auxiliary Projects (Brooklyn, NY); The Hunterdon Museum of Art (Clinton, NJ); The Charleston Heights Arts Center (Las Vegas, NV); Deluge Contemporary Art (Victoria, BC); and Mercer Union (Toronto, ON). Forsyth has been the recipient of grants from the Canada Council for the Arts (Ottawa, ON), Artist Trust (Seattle, WA), and was awarded the Larry Sommers Memorial Fellowship (Seattle Print Arts, WA). She currently serves on the board of CARFAC Ontario and has taught at Pratt Institute (New York, NY); Brooklyn College (Brooklyn, NY); University of Southern Maine (Gorham, ME); Washington State University (Pullman, WA); and is currently an associate professor at OCAD University (Toronto, ON).


2002 MFA, Mason Gross School of the Arts, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ, USA 1996 BFA, Department of Visual Arts, University of Victoria, Victoria, BC, Canada 1993 Diploma of Visual Art, Camosun College, Victoria, BC, Canada

Selected Exhibitions

Selected Solo Exhibitions: 2014 knit/wear: a site-specific installation, annie aime, Toronto, ON, Canada 2013 Letters to Kevin, Auxiliary Projects, Brooklyn, NY, USA 2012 Dark Watercolors, Hotbox, ADA Gallery, Richmond, VA, USA 2011 After, Pentimenti Gallery, Philadelphia, PA, USA 2009 Canopy, University of Southern Maine, Gorham, ME, USA 2008 Field Work, Zaum Projects, Lisbon, Portugal Selected Group Exhibitions: 2015 Handmade Abstract, BRIC, Brooklyn, NY, USA 2015 25: Multiples Toward a Past & Future, Deluge Contemporary Art, Victoria, BC, 2014-15 Entr–acte, Elgin Winter Garden Theatre, Toronto, ON, Canada 2014 Limn: Works from Artists-in-Residence, House 35, Blonduos, Iceland 2014 Michelle Forsyth: Sandwich Boards, Nuit Blanche, Toronto, ON, Canada 2013 Thirsty, ADA Gallery, Richmond, VA, USA 2013 Michelle Forsyth and Taewon Jang, University of Wyoming, Laramie, WY, USA 2013 F–d Up, Art Gallery of Mississauga, Mississauga, ON, Canada 2013 Cascadia, Collar Works Gallery, Troy, NY, USA 2013 Push/Pop, Penticton Art Gallery, Penticton, BC, Canada 2013 Shadow and Light, Tinney Contemporary, Nashville, TN, USA 2013 Grid/Graph, Mulherin + Pollard, New York, NY, USA 2011-15 Papercuts (traveling) Venues include: Space 301, Mobile, AL, USA (2011); Georgia State University Gallery, GA, USA (2012); The Corn Center for the Visual Arts (2012), Columbus State University, Columbus, GA, USA(2012); and The Ritter Gallery, Florida Atlantic University, Boca Raton, FL, USA(2013); Hollins University, Eleanor D. Wilson Museum, Roanoke, VA, USA (2013); The University of Akron, Myers School of Art, Emily Davis Gallery, Akron, OH, USA (2013); Muskegon Museum of Art, Muskegon, MI, USA (2014); Columbia College Chicago, IL, USA (2014); Sawhill Gallery, Harrisonburg, VA, SA (2015); VCUQ Gallery, Doha, Qatar (2015).

Awards \ Grants

2015 Mid-Career Project Grant, Canada Council for the Arts, Canada 2013 Fellowship, Artist Trust, Seattle, WA, USA 2011 Larry Sommers Fellowship, Seattle Print Arts, Seattle WA, USA 2010 GAP Grant, Artist Trust, Seattle, WA, USA 2007 Project Grant, Canada Council for the Arts, Canada 2007 GAP Grant, Artist Trust, Seattle, WA, USA 2007 Second Prize, Young Painters Competition for the William and Dorothy Yeck Award, Miami University, Oxford, OH, USA 2005 Professional Artist Grant, Canada Council for the Arts, Canada

Selected Publications

Selected Catalogues and Reviews: 2013 Blake Gopnik, The Daily Pic: Michelle Forsyth, The Daily Beast, Newsweek, New York, NY, March 12, 2013 ( 2013 Michelle Forsyth: Warp and Weft, Two Coats of Paint, February 4, 2013 ( 2013 Slideshow: 10 Must-See NYC Gallery Exhibitions opening in January, Artinfo, January 9, 2013 ( 2012 Caroline Williamson Michelle Forsyth Design Milk, February 27, 2012 ( 2010 Frances De Vuono, –Over and Over Again the Nature of Memory,"Over & Over Catalog, The Hogar Collection, Brooklyn, NY, USA 2009 Mary Birmingham, Cutters. Catalog. The Hunterdon Museum, Clinton, NJ, USA. 2008 David Drake, Interview, Catalog, Zaum Projects Contemporary Art, 2008 2008 Clint Roenisch. Carte Blanche Vol. 2: Painting, (Toronto: Magenta Publishing for the Arts, 2008)