My general aim is to faithfully reproduce my personal responses to image symbol idea complexes. I generally feel impelled to reduce forms to some kind of essential format. These forms are then elaborated through my involvement with materials and processes. I am equally concerned with the idea struggle, and the sensuous making process which serves as its vehicle. The exact nature of the relationship between the two is, for me, mysterious and productive.
Excerpt from artist statement in Ray Mackie exhibition publication, organized by Memorial University Art Gallery, 1983.
Ray Mackie was born in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, in 1949. In 1971, Mackie graduated with a bachelor of arts degree from the University of Saskatchewan. In 1977, he earned a bachelor of fine arts degree from Nova Scotia College of Art and Design, followed in 1980 by a master of fine arts from Indiana State University. Mackie completed his academic career in 1990 when he earned a bachelor of education from Memorial University of Newfoundland.
From 1972-76, he taught art classes through Memorial University's Extension Service and while in Halifax, he taught at NSCAD, Dalhousie University and Mount St. Vincent University.
Mackie returned to Newfoundland in 1980 and helped establish the two-year diploma of applied arts in the visual arts program at Westviking College of Applied Arts in Stephenville. He remained at the college as department head, program co-ordinator, and instructor at the visual arts department until 1999.
Mackie's work has been included in numerous group exhibitions including Land and Sea: Eight Artists From Newfoundland, which toured Ireland in 1995-96, and Clay: A Media-Based Practice organized in 1996 by Dalhousie University Art Gallery.
Solo exhibitions of his work took place at the Memorial University Art Gallery, 1983; Westviking College, 1991; RCA Visual Gallery, 1995; and Eastern Edge's Rogue Gallery, 1995. Most recently, in 1999, the Art Gallery of Newfoundland and Labrador held a retrospective of Mackie's installation work titled Coda.
Mackie has received numerous awards over the years, including the 1976 NSCAD Award for Excellence in Crafts as well as grants from the Newfoundland and Labrador Arts Council. His artwork is represented in public and private collections including that of the Art Gallery of Newfoundland and Labrador's Permanent Collection, the Nova Scotia Art Bank, the Massey Foundation, and The Canada Council Art Bank.
Mackie currently lives in Nova Scotia where he and his wife, Debra Kuzyk, operate their own business, Lucky Rabbit Pottery.