Skip to main content


Government of New Brunswick

Mario Doucette

01 MD2020 Autoportrait
Autoportrait (traître acadien), 61 x 50 cm, Huile sur bois, 2020

Mario Doucette is an Acadian artist from Moncton, New Brunswick. He is a painter, but he also works with video, drawing, performance and Super8 film. In 2004, after a residency in the French village of Brouage, he created Histoires, a series of works combining drawing and painting that reflects on the effects of colonialism. In painting, he attempts to reveal the shortcomings of the historical colonial discourse as told by the victors. Informed by research on the history of the Acadians, he imagines alternative discourses to the usual stories that have been perpetuated by many historians and artists since the publication of Evangeline, A Tale of Acadie (1847) by the American author Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.

His work has been featured in many exhibitions in several museums and galleries, notably at Toronto’s Royal Ontario Museum, where he was a Sobey Art Award finalist in 2008. He contributed work to the Oh Canada exhibition at MASS MoCA (USA, 2012), The Painting Project exhibition at Galerie de l’UQAM (Montreal, 2013), Shine a Light: Canadian Biennial 2014 at the National Art Gallery (Ottawa, 2014), and the national virtual exhibition 150 Years | 150 Works: Canadian Art as Historical Act (2018). The Acadian artist won the Visual Arts Artist of the Year Award at the Les Éloizes 2018 Gala. He is currently working on a new series of paintings, prints and sculptures called Harias. Mario Doucette is represented by Galerie Division (Montréal).

What led you to become an artist?

I love visual arts and have a very fertile imagination. So, pursuing a creative life was inevitable.

How did your training and experience help you to create and innovate in your artistic practice?

My experiences are mostly linked to my interest in history. It goes back to 2004, when I visited Brouage, France. That was the year we celebrated the 400th anniversary of Acadia, whose capital, Port-Royal, was founded by Samuel de Champlain. So, we had to create works about Champlain in Brouage, his birthplace. That's when I started thinking about our perception of history.

05 MD2016 Dispersion2
La dispersion des Acadiens (d’après Henri Beau), 91 x 152 cm, Huile sur bois, 2016

What stimulates you most about your practice?

Acadian history is my favorite subject. It's a tragic period in Acadian history, constructed from very few authentic documents and an absence of images. This leaves a lot of room for cobbling things together and even making things up. I tell a more secular version of this story, trying to give it the authentic dimension needed to counteract the mythical, comforting version to which we are attached.

02 MD2020 Esperance2
Le camp d’Espérance II, 76 x 106 cm, Huile sur bois, 2020

How has living and working in New Brunswick helped and/or inspired you on your journey?

I took on the responsibility of rectifying Acadian history and creating, out of this fuzzy material, a distinctive and original vision. I don't think I'd want to do this kind of work without living in one of the Maritime provinces.

What motivates your creativity?

I love learning new things.

03 MD2019 Guy Duguay
Hommage à Guy Duguay, 76 x 122 cm, Huile sur bois, 2019

How does your creative process unfold as you create an artwork?

The process is quite complex. The beginning of a work is to begin exhaustive research into historical events and characters, usually followed by the purchase of equipment, the making of costumes, the hiring of models, preparatory drawings, and so on. Finally comes the painting stage, which often takes forever!

What is your long-term vision and what do you hope to achieve?

I'm now working with academic painting, as there were no Acadian artists of the 18th century who created works bearing witness to the events of the Great Upheaval. By choosing the artistic movement of this period, neoclassical painting, I hope to fill this void. My aim is to personify the Acadian people by giving them a body and a face.

04 MD2021 Chiquita Mere
Chiquita Mére, présidente de la République acadienne, 61 x 50 cm, Huile sur bois, 2021

What do you think is the impact of artists' work on communities and the province as a whole?

Through their work, artists make an essential contribution to the development of our province. Our artists are there to disturb, to worry, to question, to displace, to make us see, to make us hear the world in which we live in New Brunswick.

What advice would you give to people who want to become artists?

Forging is the art of becoming a blacksmith. (Practice makes perfect).

You can follow and explore Mario Doucette's practice and artworks here:

Love NB arts and culture? Share your favourites. #inspiredbyNB