Arnold Isbister, Saskatoon, SK Member Since September 2006 Artist Statement In 1975 he attended the International Banff Centre of Fine Arts in painting/drawing. In 1976, he enrolled at the University of Saskatchewan in the 4 year Bachelor of Fine Arts program. In the 3rd year he switched Majors to Psychology and in the 4th year was employed by the Regional Psychiatric Centre (a federal penitentiary) from 1980 – 1994 from which he gained insight to the darker part of our mind.
Beginning in 1995, he re-established himself as an Artist with an updated portfolio and enlightened perspective to his idealogy in Art. He came into contact with Dr. Begg and Dr. Wayne Smandych, who were instrumental in securing solo exhibitions in Saskatoon, Calgary and Edmonton through their contacts. He resumed his abstract, surrealism, and expressionism instructed by the likes of Tak Tanabe, Graham Coughtry, Mary Ann Bobak at the Banff Centre of Fine Arts in 1975. He applied and was accepted for exhibitions in SOHO, New York, NY(3 times-different Galleries), Nashville, TN, Seattle, New Jersey, Toronto, Winnipeg and Vancouver including a One-Man show at the Wanuskewin Heritage Museum of which HRH Prince Charles was present and where Arnold officially presented HRH with one of his paintings. Another One-Man Show followed in Winnipeg at the Urban Shaman Gallery the next year with scheduled exhibitions in Toronto, ACA Gallery/Carol Mark and New York.
Writing has now been an integral part of his Art with a book being released through WingatePress in June of this year, 2005 titled “ Stories Moshum & Kokum Told Me “. He has now combined his paintings with his culture and short stories into a book of storytelling - another form of Art. In the coming years look for more books with illustrations and paintings of his rich, colorful and sometime haunting stories.
Most recently(Jan.2006) one of his paintings was aqusitioned by a natioanl jury for the permanent collection of the National Indian Art Centre in Ottawa. Among past recipients are Norval Morriseau, Daphne Odjig, Bill Reid and many more nationally recognised Artists.
He was/is also employed contractually as a Visual Arts Instructor for troubled youth(18-30yrs) and continues helping emerging artists who continue after graduation in the business of ART and exhibitions. Reaching, teaching these problematic young adults was something he loved and cherished. Some of his students shows exceptional talent and will be ‘mentored’ for the future. As quoted, he states his class philosophy:
“ I lead them into themselves from which they utilise the knowledge gathered in class to express , create and feel their Self. Also gained through time and effort is self-esteem, confidence, insight and positive work ethics with goal-setting. The course has proven to be life-changing with many now pursuing University or are employed as opposed to the streets where many would have stayed being lost. ART can reach and teach anybody, everybody can learn ART - it's our Nature. To imagine then create is inherant in our being, to express and feel is human, to explore the Mystery of "what is, what if" is divine being the genesis of all that is. It was Einstein who visualised Nature in graphic thought then painted the Universe in ways we never imagined.”