Painter and printmaker, Mary Pratt was born in Fredericton, New Brunswick in 1935. In 1953 Pratt enrolled in the Fine Arts program at Mount Allison University in Sackville, New Brunswick. She graduated in 1956 with a certificate in Fine Arts and moved to St. John’s, Newfoundland, where she worked as an occupational therapist.
Pratt married in 1957 and she and her husband moved to Glasgow. Two years later, they returned to Canada and Mary entered the fourth year at Mount Allison University’s Bachelor of Fine Arts program. She graduated in 1961 and returned to St. John’s where she taught painting in the Extension Department at Memorial University of Newfoundland and Labrador.
During the 1970s, Pratt’s career advanced and she participated in several solo shows and took part in major group exhibits across Canada and the eastern United States. In 1975, Pratt’s art was introduced to the nation through the exhibit “Some Canadian Women Artists” held by the National Gallery of Canada to celebrate International Women’s Year. The London (Ontario) Regional Art Gallery organized a major retrospective exhibition of Pratt’s work in 1981. In an eight-year period, from 1994 to 2002, Pratt worked on a series of ten woodcut prints with master printer, Masato Arikushi, of Vancouver.
Mary Pratt has been the recipient of numerous awards, including the Women’s Recognition Award at the Zonta Club in 1988, the Ontario College of Art Fellowship Award in 1990, the Canadian Conference of the Arts Commemorative Medal for the 125th Anniversary of Confederation in 1993 and the Companion of the Order of Canada in 1997, among others.