|ARTIST BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH: ||Derek Besant is a Calgary-based artist who splits his time between Alberta and Mexico and whose art practice has taken him all over the world. Besant was born in Fort Macloed, Alberta. He holds a BFA Honours from the University of Calgary (1973) and has been a member of the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts since 1978. His works are held in collections in Poland, Yugoslavia, England, Belgium, Germany, Norway, China, Argentina, Canada, the US and Mexico. His work is part of the Crown Collection, Official Residences of Canada, Ottawa.
Derek Besant has served as a lecturer and guest artist for universities and galleries and was the Head of the Drawing Program at the Alberta College of Art and Design where he taught for more than thirty years. He worked for the Glenbow Museum as an Exhibit Designer and was the Alberta Editor for Art Magazine, published in Toronto from 1974 to 1984. Besant is an active community member, serving on numerous boards and committees throughout his career, including the Alberta College of Art Board of Governors, the Olympics Exhibitions Committee in Calgary from 1985 to 1988 and the Calgary Art Gallery Foundation Board. In 1999, the University of Calgary conferred upon him the status of Distinguished Alumni.
Besant is known for his unorthodox use of materials and technology in his public art projects and international museum exhibitions. His fifteen storey mural, “Waterfall,” which was installed in the foyer of Scotia Plaza in the Bay & King Financial District in Toronto in 1989, is the largest indoor mural ever produced in Canada.