Our Faculty

Jillian McDonald


Dyson College of Arts and Sciences


  • @New York City
    41 Park Row
Office Hours
New York City

Spring 2019

Wed 9:00am-1:15pm

Thu 12:00pm-12:45pm

Office Hours

Spring 2019

Office Hours

Spring 2019


Jillian McDonald is a Canadian artist, living in New York since 1996. She is an Associate Professor of Art at Pace University, where she also co-directed the Pace Digital Gallery since 2003. Solo shows and projects include Air Circulation and Moti Hasson Galleries in New York, The San Francisco Arts Commission Gallery in California, Hallwalls in Buffalo, Esker Foundation in Calgary, La Sala Narañja in Spain, YYZ in Toronto, and Lilith Performance Studo in Sweden. Group exhibitions featuring her work include The Edith Russ Haus for Media Art in Germany, The Whitney Museum's Artport, The Sundance Film Festival in Utah, La Biennale de Montréal, Montehermoso in Spain, The Chelsea Museum in New York, and the Centre d'Art Contemporain de Basse-Normandie in France. Commissions include performances and videos for Nuit Blanche Toronto and New Forms Society, Vancouver.

McDonald has received grants from The New York Foundation for the Arts, The Canada Council for the Arts, Soil New Media, Turbulence.org, The Verizon Foundation, The New York State Council on the Arts, The Experimental Television Center, and Pace University. She lectures regularly about her work and has attended numerous artist residencies including the Headlands Center for the Arts in California, Lilith Performance Studio in Sweden, the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council's Workspace Program in New York, the Western Front in Vancouver, the Banff Centre for the Arts in Alberta, and La Chambre Blanche in Québec. In 2012 she was awarded the Glenfiddich Canada Art Prize and spent 9 months in Scotland.

McDonald's work has been reviewed in The New York Times, Art Papers, The Globe and Mail, The Toronto Star, and Border Crossings, among others. A discussion of her work appears in several books including Better Off Dead, edited by Sarah Juliet Lauro, Stalking by Bran Nicol, and Art and the Subway by Tracy Fitzpatrick. Her work was the subject of a feature length CBC radio documentary in January 2013, a Swedish television show Zombier Skräckministeriet for SVT in 2009, and a documentary for Kulturzeit, on Channel ZDF/3Sat in Germany in 2007.


MFA, Hunter College at CUNY, New York, New York, 1999
Combined Media

BFA, University of Manitoba, School of Art, Honours, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, 1993
Fine Arts

Awards and Honors

The Farm Inc, September 2017 - Arctic Circle Artist Residency
Klondike Institute of Arts and Culture, 2016 - Artist Residency
Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, March 2016 - Process Space Residency
Art Gallery of Southwestern Manitoba, Brandon, Canada, March 2015 - Artist Residency
Signal Culture, Owego, NY, November 2014 - Artist Residency
Glenfiddich, Dufftown, Scotland, July 2012 - International Artist Residency
Arizona State University Art Museum, Tempe, AZ, October 2009 - Artist Residency
Lilith Performance Studio, Malmö, Sweden, May 2009 - Artist Residency
The Headlands Center for the Arts, Marin County, CA, July 2008 - Artist Residency
La Chambre Blanche, Québec City, Canada, June 2008 - Artist Residency
Western Front, Vancouver, Canada, December 2006 - Artist Residency, Media Arts
Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, New York, NY, September 2006 - World Views Studio program - Artist's Residency


McDonald, J. M. (2016, October). Jillian McDonald, Visiting Artist. SUNY at Old Westbury, Long Island, NY.


I make films, performances, drawings and new media artworks inspired by popular film genres like horror and romance. Horror themes and cautionary tales are central to recent projects, which feature simple narratives, archetypes like zombies or masked figures, magnificent landscapes, and local actors. The Rock and the True Believers (2015) was shot in Newfoundland ("The Rock" to Newfoundlanders), featuring barren rock, the North Atlantic, icebergs, and fog, all shimmering with the supernatural. Local actors, some dressed as mummers, stand among carnivorous pitcher plants, moose, sea lions, whales and puffins. A soundtrack features modified sea shanties in a "call and response" style, traditionally sung on the voyage towards shore. Filmed across Northern Scotland, Valley of the Deer (2013) is populated sparsely by masked predators and prey in modified highland dress, along with apparitions of live animals. Folklore, paganism, and traditional music are woven into a hunting narrative amidst lush landscapes. RedRum (2010), a video shot in Victorian homes in Buffalo, New York, stars teenagers as ghostly apparitions. Undead in the Night (2009) is a live performance collaboration with Lilith Performance Studio in Malmo, Sweden with 100 local actors cast as vampires, zombies, and victims in eighteen chilling scenarios along a three kilometer forest path. In these works, each scene is a separate composition and a nearly still image where little movement, save hair in wind or an animal moving its head, betrays the stillness.


Valley of the Deer, solo show
[Art - Exhibition, One-Person]University of Waterloo Art Gallery, Waterloo, Ontario, CanadaThe Thaw, solo show
[Art - Exhibition, One-Person]Art Gallery of Southwestern Manitoba, Brandon, Manitoba, CanadaValley of the Deer, solo show
[Art - Exhibition, One-Person]Squeaky Wheel Gallery, Buffalo, New YorkValley of the Deer
[Art - Exhibition, One-Person]C e n t r e C l a r k, M o n t r é a l , CanadaValley of the Deer, solo show
[Art - Exhibition, One-Person]Atkinson Art Gallery, Santa Barbara, CAValley of the Deer, solo show
[Art - Exhibition, One-Person]Jillian McDonald, Air Circulation Gallery, BrooklynSomething Wicked This Way Comes, solo show
[Art - Exhibition, One-Person]New Media Artspace at Baruch College, New York, NYValley of the Deer, solo show
[Art - Exhibition, One-Person]La Bande VideĢo Gallery, Qu´ébec City, CanadaValley of the Deer, solo show
[Art - Exhibition, One-Person]Kenderdine Gallery, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, CanadaValley of the Deer, solo show
[Art - Exhibition, One-Person]Esker Foundation Gallery, Calgary, CanadaJillian McDonald - solo show
[Art - Exhibition, One-Person]Terminal Gallery, Austin Peay State University, Clarksville, TNBody Count, solo show
[Art - Exhibition, One-Person]Peter Fingesten Gallery, Pace University, New York, NYZombies! - solo show
[Art - Exhibition, One-Person]Korn Gallery, Drew University, Madison, NJRedRum - solo show
[Art - Exhibition, One-Person]Gallery One One One, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, CanadaRedRum - solo show
[Art - Exhibition, One-Person]Hallwalls Contemporary Arts Center, Buffalo, New York


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