Born in Montreal and raised on an Ontario farm, Gretchen Sankey spent her childhood building things and considering the things built by others.
After completing BFA and MFA degrees, she helped to form the installation-based collective 23rd Room. The collective coordinated numerous site-specific exhibitions in abandoned spaces, including the biannual Duke-u-menta installation series above Toronto’s Duke of Connaught Tavern. Her drawings, paintings and sculptures have been shown across Canada (notably at the Agnes Etherington Art Centre, Mercer Union, Kenderdine Art Gallery, Rodman Hall and Saw Galleries) and in the United States (Robischon Gallery, Rockefeller Art Center), Mexico (Museo del Pueblo, Guanajuato) and Germany (Zweigstelle Gallery, Berlin). Sankey appreciates her good fortune to have received numerous Canada Council, Toronto Arts Council and Ontario Arts Council grants and to have had her work reviewed in publications including Canadian Art, NOW magazine and The Globe and Mail.
Sankey’s love of the dual joys of making art and sharing this deeply human act with others naturally led her to teaching. After 25 years of building her private practice and teaching portfolio, she is now a permanent full-time professor in the Visual and Creative Arts Program at Sheridan College. Gretchen Sankey lives with her family in Toronto.