In this unprecedented time of uncertainty, we all face new challenges that test our patience, dreams, and faith. For those who look for it, there is always a silver lining. My silver lining has been more time to work in the studio with fewer pressures and greater opportunity for more thoughtfulness."
JUROR'S CHOICE AWARD, Quinte Arts Council | 2021
2 HONOURABLE MENTIONS, Greater Napanee and Area Arts Association | 2021
OUTSTANDING ABSTRACT, Belleville Art Association | 2017
BELLEVILLE MAYOR’S CHOICE AWARD, National Air Force Museum of Canada | 2016
Solo and Duo Exhibitions
L&A Museum solo, “Resonance” | 2016
L&A Napanee Library duo with Gary Barnett, “Let it Flow” | 2018
L&A Napanee Library duo with Denise dePencier, “Emergent Light” | 2017
McMichael Canadian Art Collection Autumn Art Sale 2016 | 2017 | 2018 | 2019 | 2021 (Online)
John M. Parrott Gallery 2016 | 2017 | 2018 | 2019 | 2020 | 2021 (Online)
Greater Napanee and Area Arts Association 2017 | 2018 | 2019 | 2021
PEC Studio Tour 2018 | 2019 | 2021
Quinte Arts Council, Expressions 2021
Buckhorn Festival of the Arts | 2021 (online)
Group Shows & Art Fairs
One of a Kind Spring Show | 2019
One of a Kind Winter Show | 2019 | 2020 (online) | 2021
Rosedale Art Fair 2018 | 2019
Juniper Island Art Festival | 2021 (online)
Quinte Arts Council, Expressions | 2021
L&A Hospital 2017 | 2018
L&A Library 2017 | 2018 | 2019 | 2020
Art at the Lake 2016 | 2017 | 2021
Art Among the Ruins 2017 | 2018 | 2019
Art at the Park | 2016
Fort Henry | 2016
Michelle is a self-taught artist who came by her love for art from her mother, Rene O’Connor - an award-winning artist and painting teacher - and her sister, Danielle O'Connor Akiyama - winner of the Florence Biennale President's Choice award representing Canada in 2009.
Michelle’s personal journey as an artist began thirty years ago in her mother’s kitchen in Toronto. “I recall wanting to give my mother-in-law a gift from my heart. So, out came my mother’s watercolour paints and brushes, and a new love was born!” Michelle’s interest in art flourished under her mother’s guidance.
Michelle’s love for art was only eclipsed by her passion for entrepreneurship. She pursued initiatives in marketing communications, learning, technical writing, and process improvement. Building a new house in mid-town Toronto proved to be the perfect opportunity to add a dedicated studio. “Every day before heading to the office, I would paint for a couple of hours in my studio. It invigorated my soul for the day and gave me purpose!” However, the paints were set aside for a few years when Michelle pursued graduate and post graduate studies.
After retiring to rural southeastern Ontario, Michelle picked up her brushes again. Most days Michelle can be found in her studio experimenting with new mark-making tools, funky textures, and expressive colours.