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ARTIST NAME: Kostiuk, Lena
ACCESSION NUMBER: 0392.125.000035
DATE: 1974
CATEGORY: Painting
SUPPORT: canvas
DIMENSIONS: Actual: 50.5 x 45.5 cm (19 7/8 x 17 15/16 in.)
COLLECTION: Cultural Minister''s Purchases, Donation

ARTIST BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH: Folk art oil painter Lena Kostiuk grew up on the McCrae homestead where she was born, but lived most of her life in Edmonton. Largely self-taught, Kostiuk began painting with oils in 1971, and the following year attended an oil fundamentals course at the Edmonton Art Gallery and studied drawing under Harry Savage at the Faculty of Extension at the University of Alberta. Kostiuk staged solo exhibitions at the Lefebvre Gallery in Edmonton, St. Vladimir’s Institution in Toronto, and the Oseredok Ukrainian Cultural and Educational Centre Gallery in Winnipeg. She also participated in numerous group exhibitions in locations such as the Warwick Gallery in Vancouver and St. Andrew’s Church in Edmonton. Kostiuk’s landscape paintings celebrate nature and humans in harmony, as seen in “Fishing with Grandpa” (1976), depicting the innocence of a multigenerational excursion to the lakeside on a bright spring day, and in “Seagulls Following the Plow” (1977), a forced-perspective idyll of farm life. A member of Canadian Artists Representation, Kostiuk claimed that her work “has been labelled by some who have seen it as ‘primitive,’ ‘surrealistic,’ [and] ‘crude;’” nevertheless, the National Gallery of Canada in Ottawa maintains some of her work in its permanent collection. On May 15, 2016, Kostiuk died in Edmonton at age 86.

Freedom to Create. Spirit to Achieve. 

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