Award-winning conceptual artist, teacher and former art college president, Garry Neill Kennedy studied at the Ontario College of Art, the University of Buffalo and the University of Ohio. In 1967, at the age of 32, he was appointed president of the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design in Halifax. As an innovative teacher and inspired director until 1990, Kennedy successfully transformed the institution into one of the most dynamic centres for contemporary art in the world. During these years, Kennedy also continued to practice as an artist, exhibiting nationally and internationally, and creating complex works that varied from those that focused on painting, questioning the nature of its materials and processes, to works more critical of corporate cultures and global politics.
In 2000, the National Gallery of Canada hosted a major retrospective of his work. In 2003, he was appointed a member of the Order of Canada, and in 2004 he received a Governor General?s Award in Visual and Media Arts for his outstanding life-long achievements.
In the words of the jury for this last award, ?Kennedy is an artist and philosopher at the same time, in that he critiques, or asks questions about, the nature, materials, processes and conventions of art. His art is laced with humour, irony and irreverence.?