Artist, collaborator and educator remembered in exhibition at UBC Okanagan

Colleagues of the late Doug Biden, former professor of printmaking at UBC Okanagan, will honour their friend and fellow artist with a special exhibition of Biden's mixed media and print works this month at UBC Okanagan's FINA Gallery.

"The premise of this exhibit is to show Doug's solo work, some of his collaborations, and also some prints made by other artists here on this campus under Doug's technical guidance," says Jim Kalnin, Assoc. Professor of Creative Studies.

"Doug was enthusiastic about collaborating with other artists and I consider myself very fortunate to have worked on an extensive series of monotype prints with him," says Kalnin. "We had a blast making them -- a lot of laughter and inventive play resulted. Working continually with another artist taught us both valuable things that strengthened our individual work as well. I think Doug Biden really knew how to find a balance between being serious about art and having a really good time."

Biden, a master printmaker, joined Okanagan University College in August 1996 to teach printmaking in the Fine Arts Department. He received a tenured position as associate professor in August 2002, and joined the Department of Creative Studies in the Faculty of Creative and Critical Studies at UBC Okanagan in July 2005. He passed away in March 2007, after a lengthy illness.

Biden was a graduate of the Vancouver School of Art and Concordia University. He held teaching positions at the Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design, Capilano College's Sechelt campus, and UBC Okanagan.

"Doug was one of the most passionate and enthusiastic artists I have known," says Kalnin. "He had an incredible zest for life which reflected in his highly expressive, innovative and often politically inspired work."

Biden's zest for life was clear in the wide variety of interests he had, says Byron Johnston, Assoc. Prof. of Creative Studies. "Doug's passions embraced music, televised sports, art, nature, political events, social awareness, child raising, dog raising, student interaction, tennis, basketball, baseball, hallway hockey, distance running, anatomy and teaching -- to name a few," says Johnston.

The exhibition, entitled Artist, Collaborator and Educator, opens next Monday, Sept. 17, and runs until Sept. 28 in the FINA Gallery, in the Fine Arts and Health Building at UBC Okanagan. Hours are 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday to Friday. An opening reception will be held Wednesday, Sept. 19, from 3 to 5 p.m. in the FINA Gallery. Admission is free.

A parallel exhibition, entitled Doug Biden: Visceral Allegories, opened at the Burnaby Art Gallery on Sept. 11 and runs till Oct. 21.

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