Jeannie Mah was born in 1952 in Regina, Saskatchewan. She attended the University of Regina, receiving a Bachelor of Education in 1976, and in 1979 she studied ceramics at the Emily Carr College of Art and Design in Vancouver, British Columbia. Other studies took Mah to the Banff Centre (1984, 1988), to France's Université de Perpignan (1988) and Université de la Sorbonne (1989). Eventually Mah returned to the University of Regina, where she received a Bachelor of Arts in 1993. Mah credits Regina artist and instructor Jack Sures with inspiring her practice: “I learned my heavy-duty work ethic from him.”
Mah's ceramic work emphasizes vessels, particularly cups, and she creates these delicate porcelain objects by hand. Mah explains her approach: “Balanced on the cusp of a fine arts education, I insist on working in a medium which is considered to belong to a decorative art. While seeking out the vestiges of art in our daily lives, I plunder the history of this decorative art, and usurp the cup as pulling it into a fine arts practice....While an "upstairs/downstairs" split reveals a classicist gap in our societal/domestic consciousness, the mug and the teacup meet on this domestic front, as the utilitarian and the decorative merge to fulfill aesthetic and bodily needs.”
Since 1986, Mah's work has been shown in numerous group and solo exhibitions in Canada and internationally. Her work is represented in collections including the Saskatchewan Arts Board, Winnipeg Art Gallery, MacKenzie Art Gallery (Regina), Municipalité de Nyon (Switzerland), Burlington Art Gallery, Canadian Clay and Glass Gallery, and the Museum of Civilization (Hull).
In addition to her ceramic work, Mah collaborates with other artists on work in a variety of other media, including film and video, photography, and performance. Mah co-edited with Lorne Beug and Anne Campbell the book Regina's Secret Spaces: Love and Lore of Local Geography (2006).