Elizabeth McDonald

contemporary artist



  • bee-keepers-1200-x-800.jpg
  • seance-us-vs-them-1200-x-800.jpg
  • lost-home-fukushima-1200-x-800.jpg
  • take-you-with-us-1200-x-800.jpg



Elizabeth McDonald was born and raised in Texas. She earned a BFA at the University of North Texas and an MFA at the Glasgow School of Art. Ms. McDonald has shown work extensively in the US and the UK, and her work has been recognized by prominent jurying bodies at home and abroad. In 2010 she was a finalist for five prizes: shortlisted for the John Moores Contemporary Painting Prize, Liverpool; a finalist for the Hunting Art Prize, Houston (again in 2012); also exhibiting at the Salon Art Prize, Matt Roberts Arts, London; earning second place at the Celeste Art Prize in New York; and winning the BP Portrait’s Young Artist Award at the National Portrait Gallery in London. Since then she has exhibited widely with solo shows in Cardiff, Wales and Dallas, Texas and her work has been presented in numerous publications including 500 Portraits published by the National Portrait Gallery in London and The Catlin Guide released at the 2012 London Art Fair. She most recently exhibited in Sehnsucht at the Chalet as part of Glasgow International Festival of Visual Art 2014.

Artist Statement

Constant bombardment of threats and disasters transforms collective insecurity into individuated fear, a reaction to the overarching mood of feverish anxiety in mass media and culture. The home is no longer a safe haven, nature is not to be trusted, and general suspicion has broadened to an almost unfathomable number of dangers to be guarded against. This movement of fear inward within the individual provides a general orientation and mood of anxiety and powerlessness. It is within this context that I base my practice. Unable to ameliorate any of these fearful situations, I use them as a theoretical base point for a different understanding of the world. I search for and create solace in the realm of possibility, in the liminal state between the starkness of clear understanding and the hopefulness of fully imagined narrative. Scenes of houses from Fukushima or lavish rooms from the Titanic blend with untouched, wealthy idyllic estates without enumerating which is which. Beekeepers, nuclear workers, and hazmat clean up crews become indistinguishable from one another. Political negotiations meld with seances, at the mercy of charms and curses as much as human whim and folly. Subverting reality in this way provides space for contemplation in the face of disaster or threat that would otherwise render the contemplator powerless. It is this powerlessness that is at the center of my practice, and which, simultaneously, I take shelter from through my work.



MFA 2011 Glasgow School of Art

BFA 2008 Drawing and Painting, University of North Texas


2012 – Finalist for Hunting Art Prize, Houston

2010 – Received 2nd Place at the Celeste Art Prize, New York

2010 – Received the Young Artist Award at the BP Portrait Competition, London

2010 – Shortlisted for the John Moores Contemporary Painting Prize, Liverpool

2010 – The San Angelo Museum of Art acquisition of Shoot ‘Em Up, San Angelo

2010 – Finalist for the Hunting Art Prize, Houston

2009 – Shortlisted for The London International Creative Competition, London


2014 – Sehnsucht, Chalet Gallery, Glasgow (commissioned for Glasgow International Festival of Visual Art)

2013 – New British 2013, Lloyds Club, London

2013 – Defcon, Embassy Gallery, Edinburgh

2012 – A Fresh Approach, Ruiz-Healy Gallery, San Antonio, Texas

2012 – Hunger and Desire, 107 Studios, San Antonio, Texas (two person show)

2012 – San Antonio Painters, Blue Star Contemporary Art Museum, San Antonio, Texas

2012 – Red Dot, Blue Star Contemporary Art Museum, San Antonio, Texas

2012 – Drip Dry, Southern Music Company, San Antonio, Texas

2012 – Fresh Nostalgia, Laura Moore Fine Art, McKinney, Texas (solo)

2011 – Assembly: Elizabeth McDonald, Chapter Arts Centre, Cardiff (solo)

2011 – Chalet Prize, Chalet Gallery, Glasgow

2011 – Christmas Exhibition, Glasgow Print Studio, Glasgow

2011 – Coax Me, Chalet Gallery, Glasgow

2011 – Split, Sommer & Kohl Gallery, Berlin

2011 – MFA Degree Show, Gluefactory, Glasgow

2011 – Chalet Artists, Collins Gallery, Glasgow

2010 – Draft, Chalet Gallery, Glasgow

2010 – Celeste Art Prize Exhibition, Invisible Dog Gallery, New York

2010 – Salon Art Prize, Matt Roberts Art, London

2010 – John Moores Contemporary Painting Prize Exhibition, Liverpool

2010 – BP Portrait Award Exhibition, National Portrait Gallery, London

(toured to Lincoln, Aberdeen, and Cardiff)

2010 – Hunting Prize Gala, Houston, Texas

2010 – Expo, 500x Gallery, Dallas, Texas

2010 – Two Young American Artists, The Gables, San Angelo, Texas (two person show)

2010 – Interim Show, Mackintosh Gallery, Glasgow

2010 – The Chalet Invitational, Chalet Gallery, Glasgow (Glasgow International Festival of Visual Art)


2012 – The Catlin Guide 2012 (book)

2011 – 500 Portraits, National Portrait Gallery, London (book)

2010 – Laminate Media 02 : Creative Output

2010 – Celeste Prize New York Catalogue 2010

2010 – John Moores Contemporary Painting Prize Catalogue 2010

2010 – BP Portrait Award Exhibition Catalogue 2010

2010 – Cerise Press Summer 2010, Vol. 2, Issue 1

2010 – LICC.02 Book



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