Gallery 78 Celebrates 50 Years of Art by David McKay

Category: arts 237

Career spanning exhibition at Gallery 78 brings together many of David McKay’s favourite paintings to celebrate 50 years of his work.

Matt Carter 

Gallery 78 is celebrating the work of painter David McKay with a new career spanning exhibition. 

“As autumn begins showing its magnificent show of warm colours, and New Brunswick transforms into a romantic, oft photographed landscape, we are proud to present David McKay: After 50 Years, a celebration marking his fifty years of painting,” says Gallery 78’s Véronique Thériault. “This time of year is perfectly suited to showing this exhibition. It is a season that has long inspired and influenced painters, writers, and crafters alike. As David says, this is his favourite, ‘when the bright colours have blown away and rich golden and dark red ochres take over’.”

After leaving his job as a structural technician, McKay dedicated his days to painting. His work highlights both Fredericton and New Brunswick and reveals the everyday beauty that defines life in our province.

McKay has been working full-time as a painter in Fredericton for 50 years. His work has been shown in galleries across Canada including Hollander York Gallery in Toronto, The Shayne Gallery in Montreal, The Gallery in St. John’s Newfoundland, Ferntree Gallery in Calgary, The Ring Gallery in Saint John, Gallery One in Moncton and both the Beaverbrook Art Gallery and Gallery 78 in Fredericton to name just a few. 

“I have known David all my life, though I did not know him during his first 25 years of painting,” says Thériault in her curator’s message for this exhibition. “From being in the gallery growing up and now working here a number of years, I have become deeply aware of the artist’s life, and how difficult it can be at times. It is one I romanticize, fear, but overall commend – because what are we without art? It always fascinates me, confounds me, really, when people don’t understand the importance of art, and dare to question the role of artists. Art is work, and an artist’s work is invaluable.

“In this exhibition, David is not showing us a retrospective, but a collection of what he feels are his best paintings created in the last number of years,” she said.

The exhibition opens Friday October 28. The public are invited to visit the gallery between 5-7 p.m. to meet the artist. Masks are encouraged.

“I see David’s work as a privilege, to view and to own,” says Thériault. “That he has been able to create a life by painting, in New Brunswick, is a testament to his vision, passion, and dedication. We are proud to call David our friend, and it is a great honour to put on this exhibition for a special milestone in his life.”

The works will be on display until Saturday, November 19, 2022.

The full exhibition can also be viewed online at

Featured image: Tracks, 24 x 36 in

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