Acclaimed painter named Koerner Artist in Residence
David Urban, who is widely regarded as the leading Canadian painter of his generation and has exhibited around the world, joins Queen’s this year as the Koerner Artist in Residence, an annual professional residency in the Fine Art Programme. The residency is designed to provide students with unique access to mentorship from a celebrated artist, and gives the artist a chance to share their expertise.
Even as a small child, Mr. Urban was serious about art. His parents, both teachers, encouraged him to express himself through painting and drawing. Yet, in university, he decided to pursue another passion: literature.
While studying English at York University in the ‘80s, Mr. Urban’s partner encouraged him to take a first-year art class. This step into the art world prompted him to do a double major in visual arts and English, and essentially launched his artistic career.
“For me, poetry and painting go hand in hand,” says Urban, who is well-known for his abstract paintings but is equally interested in figurative art. He also notes, however, that as he became more involved in visual arts, he felt it was freeing to work outside of language.
Unlike teaching a course with set curriculum and guidelines, the residency, Mr. Urban says, is an opportunity to convey your passion to students, to offer your own ideas and beliefs on art and the artistic process, with the hope that students take something from that and move forward with their own work.
After his first degree, Mr. Urban pushed ahead with painting, but says writing continued to be an important part of his development. He went on to receive a master’s in English literature and creative writing from the University of Windsor and a master’s of fine arts from the University of Guelph.
To begin his residency, Mr. Urban will participate in several public events early in March at Queen’s and in the community. Complete details can be found online.