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 Harry Mitsuo Kiyooka  (1928 - )

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Lived/Active: Alberta / Canada      Known for: abstract painting, drawing, printmaking, teaching

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Harry Mitsuo Kiyooka
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This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Harry Mitsuo Kiyooka B.Ed, BFA, MA, MFA, ASA, R.C.A (1928)

A painter, draftsman, printmaker, distinguished educator and leader in the artist community, Professor Emeritus Harry Kiyooka [1] was born in Calgary, Alberta and other than for travel and study has lived there most of his life. His mediums include oils, acrylics, pen and ink, charcoal, etching*, serigraph* and mobile*. His subjects include figures and landscapes and as an abstractionist – shape, color, and texture. His styles include Expressionism*, Impressionism*, Abstract Expressionism*, Geometric Abstraction*, Hard-Edge Painting* and Minimalism*. His works are in numerous Canadian museum collections.

Attached below is an edited excerpt of his curriculum vitae courtesy of Herringer Kiss Gallery, Calgary [2]:

Education: 1953 - Bachelor of Education, University of Alberta, 1954 - Bachelor of Fine Arts, University of Manitoba, 1956 - Masters of Arts, Michigan State University, 1957 - Masters of Fine Arts, University of Colorado, 1958 – 1961 - Study in Italy on Canada Council Scholarships

Professional: In 1961, Harry Kiyooka returned to Calgary to assume a teaching position at the new University of Alberta, Calgary campus. In 1988, Harry retired from the University of Calgary [3] after 27 years with the rank of Professor Emeritus of Art. Harry has travelled and worked extensively in Europe, Japan and the United States. He has been the recipient of the Canada Council Senior Fellowship and various awards such as First Prize for Painting at the 10th Winnipeg Show and the Jacox Award-Joint Prize, All Alberta Exhibition from the Edmonton Art Gallery. [4] He has exhibited his artwork in many national and international exhibitions.

Selected exhibitions include: 6th Biennial of Canadian Art [National Gallery of Canada, 1965]; 85th R.C.A. Winter Exhibition [5];Montreal Canadian Printmakers Showcase in 1973; Spectrum Canada in 1976; Olympic Games, Montreal [1976]; 25 Year Retrospective Exhibition,1978, Alberta College of Art Gallery in Calgary; Tercere Biennial American de Grabado, Chile [1968]; Exposition Internationales de Gravure, Ljubljana, Yugoslavia [1971, 1973, and 1975]; Primera Bienial America de Artes Grapichas, Columbia [1971]; First International Biennial Exhibition of Graphic Art and Multiples, Spain [1976]; Third Exposition Internationale de Gravure in Frechen, Germany [1975].[6]

For the past 30 years, Harry has served on local, provincial and national boards such as the Canadian Conference of the Arts, the Royal Canadian Academy [of Arts]*, the Alberta Society of Artists [President  1967 – 1968], the Alberta Art Foundation, Calgary Allied Arts Centre, the Calgary Allied Arts Foundation and the Calgary Contemporary Arts Society. Harry is a founding member of the Calgary Contemporary Arts Society (1982), Life Member of the Alberta Society of Artists and member of the Royal Canadian Academy. Most recently, Harry Kiyooka was awarded a 125th Anniversary Medal of Confederation [1992] for his contribution to the community in establishing the Triangle Gallery of Visual Arts (1988) in Calgary. In 1996, Harry was the recipient of the Award of Excellence from the Alberta College of Art and Design for his contributions to the visual arts.

Source: Herringer Kiss Gallery, Calgary

1. The artist and educator, Roy Kiyooka (see AskART) is Harry Kiyooka’s brother and artist Katie Ohe (1937) is Harry’s wife. MDS
2. Please note: The footnotes, additional sources and items in square brackets are not part of the Herringer Kiss Gallery original text. MDS
3. The University of Calgary was founded in 1966 by changing the name of the Calgary campus of the University of Alberta. Source: University of Calgary.
4. Kiyooka received Canada Council* grants in 1958, 1959 and 1966. Source: The Collector's Dictionary of Canadian Artists at Auction (2001), by Anthony R. Westbridge and Diana L. Bodnar (see AskART book references).
5. Kiyooka exhibited with the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts in 1965, 1966, and 1976. He also exhibited at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts in 1960, 1964 and 1968. Sources: Royal Canadian Academy of Arts: Exhibitions and Members, 1880 – 1979 (1981), by Evelyn de R. McMann (see AskART book references); and Montreal Museum of Fine Arts: Spring Exhibitions 1880 – 1970 (1988), by Evelyn de R. McMann (see AskART book references).
6. In 1982, Kiyooka’s work was included in Canadian Art in Britain: contemporary works from collections in Britain at Canada House Gallery, London, England. Source: Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto.
Additional sources:
Abstract Painting in Canada (2008), by Roald Nasgaard (see AskART book references)
Biographical Index of Artists in Canada (2003), by Evelyn de Rostaing McMann (see AskART book references)
Art and Architecture in Canada (1991), by Loren R. Lerner and Mary F. Williamson (see AskART book references)
Printmaking in Alberta, 1945 – 1985 (1989), by Bente Roed Cochran (see AskART book references)
Canadian art in Britain: contemporary works from collections in Britain (1982), exhibition catalogue (see AskART book references)
Artists of Alberta (1980), by Suzanne Devonshire Baker (see AskART book references)
A Dictionary of Canadian Artists (1974), by Colin S. MacDonald (see AskART book references)
Creative Canada: A Biographical Dictionary of Twentieth Century Creative and Performing Arts (1972), by Helen M. Rodney (see AskART book references)
Canadian Art Today (1970), by William Townsend (see AskART book references)
Canadian Heritage Information Network*
Stride Gallery, Calgary

* For more in-depth information about these terms and others, see Glossary

Submitted by M.D. Silverbrooke.

** If you discover credit omissions or have additional information to add, please let us know at
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