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David Blackwood (1941- ) is a Canadian artist known for his prints depicting Newfoundland life and culture. Born in Wesleyville, Newfoundland in 1941, Blackwood was exposed to subjects which influenced the themes represented in his art: fishermen and sealers and their families; relationships with the land; harsh landscapes; and the importance of tradition to communities on Canada’s east coast.
Blackwood attended the Ontario College of Art from 1959-1963, where he studied printmaking. Subsequently, he was the first artist-in-residence at Erindale College at University of Toronto Mississauga, from 1969 to 1975. The Erindale College Art Gallery was renamed The Blackwood Gallery in 1992 in the artist’s honour. In 1976, Blackwood was the subject of a documentary produced by the National Film Board of Canada – titled Blackwood – which was nominated for an Academy Award. Blackwood was a member of the AGO Board of Trustees and the Inuit Art Foundation in Ottawa. He was also the recipient of numerous other awards and accolades, including honorary doctorates at the University of Calgary and Memorial University of Newfoundland (1992); a National Heritage Award (1993); the Order of Ontario (2002); and the Order of Canada (1993).
Blackwood has exhibited nationally and internationally, with over 90 solo shows throughout the span of his career. In 1999 he donated 242 archival prints to the AGO, making the gallery an international research centre for the artist’s work. He was named an honorary chair of the AGO in 2003. The AGO presented a major retrospective of Blackwood’s work in 2011, titled Black Ice: David Blackwood Prints of Newfoundland. Blackwood’s works are also in the collection of the National Gallery of Canada, Montreal Museum of Fine Art, Memorial University of Newfoundland, Winnipeg Art Gallery, National Gallery of Florence, and Uffizi Gallery in Florence, amongst others. Blackwood has resided in Port Hope, Ontario since the 1970s, where he was a teacher of drawing and painting at Trinity College School.
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