|ARTIST BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH: ||
Jack Benjamin (J.B.) Taylor studied at the Art Students' League in New York City from 1937 -1938 and on his return to P.E.I. he began to teach art and prepare for his first one-man show later that year. At the beginning of World War Two he joined the RCAF. He was first posted to the Maritimes and later he was sent to the North West Air Command in Alberta. Here he painted illusionist landscapes for the purpose of aircraft recognition. During this time he organized art classes for servicemen, painted murals, and decorated the base canteens and lounges with images of allied aircraft for the amusement of his air force colleagues that were later exhibited across Canada and the United States.
After the war he attended the Ontario College of Art. He graduated with honours in 1947 and later that year moved west to Edmonton. He became a lecturer at the University of Alberta Department of Fine Art. In 1950 he was appointed assistant professor in art and in 1958 he became an associate professor. He was the acting department head from 1966 to 1967. Together with fellow artists Henry G. Glyde, Harry Wohlfarth and Douglas Barry, he travelled throughout rural Alberta and the North West Territories, providing a variety of art programs and encouraging the development of the visual arts. He was especially interested in teaching community art classes and workshops, and in taking art instruction to mental hospitals and correctional institutions. During the summers from 1948 - 1955 he taught at the Banff School of Fine Arts. In 1955 he took a sabbatical and he and his family moved to London England where he spent a year studying at the Slade School of Art . He continued to teach at the University of Alberta until his death in 1970.
Working in oil, watercolour, and acrylic, he is best known for his representational and semi-abstract mountain and prairie landscapes featuring the Badlands of Alberta and the glaciers and mountains of Banff National Park. He exhibited extensively throughout his artistic life in Canada and the United States in both group and one man shows. He was a juror for the Canada Council, a member of the Alberta Society of Artists, the Edmonton Art Club, and the Federation of Canadian Artists. He was the President of the Edmonton Film Society and a member of the Canadian Society for Education through Art.