Sandra Yuen MacKay has dealt with barriers, stigma and mental health issues. She has painted for most of her adult life. Her medium is mainly acrylic painting and her content includes florals, city scenes and abstracts. Creativity is her passion and a key to her health and wellness. She attended the Emily Carr College of Art and Design, and earned a Fine Arts Diploma from Langara College and an art history degree from the University of British Columbia. She received the Courage to Come Back Award and the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal for overcoming severe adversity and giving back to the community as an artist, writer and speaker on mental health issues. She is an active member of the Federation of Canadian Artists. She has exhibited extensively in the Lower Mainland and her work is in public and private collections in North America.
Sandra Yuen MacKay interprets the local cityscape through elements of memory, history, change, alienation, and the human connection. She captures the familiar in glimpses, finding contemplation and poignancy in depictions of ordinary daily life. She is attracted to the nostalgic through a narrative lens. Angles, structure and architecture are soft-edged, produced from Sandra’s feminine brushwork. Her perspective is gentle, calm and arresting.
Drawing from Georgia O’Keeffe, Sandra’s florals are filled with hope and beauty. She insists the light comes from within the bloom.
Living with mental illness, she finds refuge through art and writing. “Painting keeps me sane, gives me an identity, a purpose in life, and fills me with its healing power.”