Michelle MacNaught – In Memoriam / Art Show & Fundraiser

“My work is an experience that I want to share with others. I hope that they get the same experience viewing my art as I do making it,” Michelle MacNaught

Untitled, 2010
Woodblock print by Michelle MacNaught. Contributed by the Artist’s Estate.

In the fall of 2011 the tightly knit community of the Western Catskill Mountains sobbed in grief and disbelief to hearing the news of Michelle MacNaught’s untimely passing. The twenty-one year old, a gifted student at SUNY Purchase, had been diagnosed with ovarian cancer a year earlier. Ovarian cancer kills approximately 15,000 women per year in the United States.

Instead of despairing upon hearing the somber diagnosis, Michelle poured all her energy and emotions into painting, drawing, and printing on wood-blocks, an effort that eventually led to a major exhibition at the Leo Koenig Gallery in Manhattan: it was Michelle’s first and last solo show. Michelle, who flew by helicopter into Manhattan, was able to attend the opening reception days before her untimely passing. 13 out of Michelle’s 20 works sold as well as copies of her book “Michelle MacNaught: Works on Paper”.

Walking Through the Birch, 2010-2011
India ink and acrylic paint on receipt paper and archival drawing paper by Michelle MacNaught. Contributed by the Artist’s Estate.

To keep her memory alive, Michelle’s family and friends opened The Michelle MacNaught Memorial Fund to support young artists in Delaware County. The fund awards scholarships to graduating high school seniors recommended by the teaching staff as deeply involved in the school’s art programs.

Chemotherapy Part I, 2011
Woodblock print by Michelle MacNaught. Contributed by the Artist’s Estate.

To support the fund, a fundraiser is organized every year in August. This year the fundraiser takes place Saturday, August 12 from 11 am to 6 pm at 160 Main Street, Andes, NY. 38 works in various media – painting, drawing, sculpture, photography, and prints – will be auctioned on Saturday. Auctioned works include Washington Square, dry point etching by Lisbeth Firmin; William Duke’s Hyzer Hill, oil on wood; and a copper plate etching by Michelle MacNaught titled Bad. All works can be seen online at Paddle 8.

For more information, visit http://www.michellesfund.org/.