Rita McKeough

Associate Professor, Media Arts

“In my current work, I’m interested in using humour, performance, electronics, kinetics and audio to create an interaction between found natural objects and technological devices referencing ideas of communication imbedded in nature and new technology.”

Rita McKeough

Rita McKeough has been working as an interdisciplinary artist for over thirty years, and has contributed to Canada's strong reputation in performance and installation art. Her work has been shown in artist-run centres, museums, galleries and festivals across the country. Her performances and installations – often complex, collaborative efforts – touch on issues such as displacement, domestic abuse and ecological damage.

A source of inspiration and encouragement for many young artists, McKeough is an instructor at the Alberta College of Art and Design, and taught for several years at the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design. She is a drummer in a rock band and performs regularly at small Calgary venues. In 2009 she was the winner of the Governor General's Award in Visual and Media Arts.

Member of ACAD Faculty since 2007.


MFA, Nova Scotia College of Art and Design.

BFA, University of Calgary.

Selected Professional Activity

The Lion’s Share [installation audio, electronics +performance], IKG, Calgary, AB, Canada, Kendridine Art Gallery, Saskatoon, SK, Canada, Dalhousie Art Gallery, Halifax NS, Canada, Doris McCarthy Gallery, University of Toronto, Scarborough, ON, Canada, University of Lethbridge Art Gallery, Lethbridge, AB, Canada, 2013/14

Wilderment [installation with electronics], Neutral Ground Gallery, Regina, SK, Canada 2013

H [performance], Faucet New Media Festival, Struts Gallery, Sackville, NB, Canada, 2013

Alternator, Oh Canada, MASSMOCA, North Adams, Mass. USA, 2012

Long Haul, Informal Architecture, Plug In ICA, Winnipeg, MB, Canada2008

“Outskirts”, [performance / Installation, audio + electronics], Owens Art Gallery, Sackville, NB, Canada, 2003

Selected Publications

McKeough, Rita. The Lions Share. [Exhibition Catalogue]. Essay. Liz Diggon.“Rita McKeough – Subversive Sustenance and the Social Space of Food”. Lethbridge: University of Lethbridge Art Gallery, 2012. Print.

Sherlock, Diana. “Rita McKeough –  Subversive at work”. Canadian Art 27.4 (2011): 108-113. Print.

Kiendl, Anthony. “Eating Architecture: Rita McKeough”. Informal Architectures: Space and Contemporary Cultures. London: Black Dog, 2008. 186-189. Print.

Clintberg, Mark. “Rita McKeough: From School to Disorder”. Backflash  24.2 (2007): 32-46. Print.

Wark, Jayne. "Rita McKeough: an Ethics of Compassion". Caught in the Act: an Anthology of Peformance Art by Canadian Women. Toronto: YYZ Books, 2005. 344-351. Print.

Selected Awards

Canada Council for the Arts International Residency Program, Sydney, AU, 2014

Alberta Creative Development Initiative Grant, 2011

Alberta Foundation for the Arts Grant, 2009

Governor General’s Award in Visual and Media Arts, 2009

Nova Scotia Arts Council Grant Creation Grant, 2005, 2004, 2001,1998

Canada Council Arts Grant, 2006, 2002, 1999, 1994, 1991, 1988, 1987, 1984, 1983