Mary Ann Penashue is an Innu artist born in 1964 in Birch Island near Goose Bay, NL. She resides with her husband, children and grandchildren in Sheshatshiu, Labrador. Raised by her grandparents in a small village called Mud Lake, Mary Ann learned from them Innu culture and traditions. Her earliest memories are of being tucked into her bed amongst the spruce boughs in the traditional Innu tent and watching her grandparents drum and dance by the light of the fire. The ritual, she recalls, reflects the thanks Innu gave to the creator for the bounty provided by the land and animals.
In 2007 Mary Ann was named “Emerging Artist of the Year” by the Newfoundland and Labrador Arts Council. In 2011, she was accepted into the Ottawa School of Art Fine Art Diploma program graduating in 2016, and in 2015 she was awarded the Lillian Raport Memorial Scholarship, in recognition of artistic achievement and expression of life through visual arts. Mary Ann has been commissioned by several organizations throughout Labrador and Quebec to paint images of Tshenut, and has immortalized the faces of the Elders in approximately 500 art works.
Mary Ann Penashue’s work has been exhibited throughout Newfoundland and Labrador, Quebec and Ontario, and she has been showcased at the Northern Lights Show in Ottawa. In 2023, she was a participating artist in the Bonavista Biennale. Her work is found in the collections of The Rooms Provincial Art Gallery, the Provincial Art Bank Collection, BMO St. John’s, IDLP (Innu Development Limited Partnership), and the Band Council of Sheshatshiu, as well as many private collections in Canada, the USA and the UK.
Dec 1—Dec 31, 2023
Nov 3—Nov 25, 2023
Dec 9—Dec 31, 2022
Jul 19—Aug 31, 2018
Apr 20—May 12, 2018
Painting the positive: Innu artist Mary Anne Penashue launches exhibit, video interview with CBC’s Anthony Germain, 2023.
Faces to Remember, by Arlette Lazarenko for CBC News, 2023.
Late Start, or Right Time? by Stephanie Kinsella for CBC News, 2018.