Michael Flaherty was born in St. John's, Newfoundland, and subsequently spent much of his childhood getting lost in the woods. He has turned this urge to explore into a career as an artist - he has crossed North America by bicycle, lived alone for three months on a deserted island, and resided in six of Canada's ten provinces, all in the pursuit of art.
Michael earned a BFA at NSCAD University and an MFA at University of Regina before going on to teach at both those institutions as well as Memorial University of Newfoundland. He has received numerous grants from the Canada Council for the Arts, the Newfoundland and Labrador Arts Council and the Saskatchewan Arts Board. Michael was a semi-finalist for the 2011 Sobey Award and won the Large Year Award from Visual Artists Newfoundland and Labrador in 2013. Michael is a committed volunteer and community activist with a long time involvement in artist-run-centres such as A1C Gallery and Eastern Edge, as well as advocacy groups like the Craft Council of Newfoundland and Labrador.