“…Syperek would reacquaint us with our very lives.” – Arts Atlantic

“She likes the … grey, wet Nova Scotian light which intensifies gentle tertiary colours and coats the scene with a kind of unifying metaphysical varnish.”- Program Notes, St. Mary’s Univ., Halifax, N.S.

The inspiration for Anna Syperek’s poetic realism comes from an intuitive rapport with her own surroundings, in and about the town and county of Antigonish, Nova Scotia. For Syperek, the everyday is significant and marvelous subject matter. Whether it be a pasture up the back road, a season in transition, or a toothbrush tossed in a glass, she creates a kind of mythology for what you might not have noticed before. Her faith in the inherent truth that lies in the natural, brings her to an honest and reverent rendering of light and atmosphere with gentle, true colour. Her careful details allow the wind to blow and light to filter through in such a way that the subject’s quality of being real is captured and our perceptions enhanced by the attention drawn to it. No matter how specific the subject might be, Syperek creates a wide berth for the chance human element to enter into her work and in so doing welcomes the viewer in at the same time.

Born in England, of Polish and English parents, Syperek studied painting, drawing and art history at York University in Toronto, before moving to Antigonish in 1971 and teaching herself watercolor painting. In 1977, she went back to school at the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design in Halifax, N.S. to study printmaking, earning her BFA in 1980. She then returned to Antigonish to set up her own etching/printmaking studio at her home overlooking St. George’s Bay. Well known for her etchings, watercolours and recent oils, Syperek also teaches university drawing and etching classes.

Her work can be found in galleries in the Maritimes, Ontario, Quebec, and British Columbia, in the Canada Council Art Bank, the Nova Scotia Art Bank, Petro Canada, Via Rail, Canadian Airlines, and other corporate collections, and in numerous private collections across Canada and the United States


Curriculum Vita

EDUCATION:

1969-1971       Fine Arts Program, Concentration on Drawing and Painting, York University, Toronto, Ontario

1977-1980       B.F.A., Nova Scotia College of Art and Design, Halifax, Nova Scotia

SOLO EXHIBITIONS:

2010                Lyghtesome Gallery, Antigonish, N.S.

2008                Studio 21, Halifax, N.S.

2007                Lyghtesome Gallery, Antigonish, N.S.

2005                Old New Scotland, an International Traveling Exhibit,

-June, Inverness County Centre for the Arts, Inverness, N.S.,

-July & Aug., St. Francis Xavier University, Antigonish, N.S.,

-Sept. Sabhal Mor Ostaig, Isle of Skye Scotland

-Oct. Taigh Chearsabhagh, North Uist, Outer Hebrides, Scotland

-Nov. Arainn Shuaineirt, Strontian, Scotland

-Dec. Glen Urquhart Centre, near Inverness, Scotland

2005                Moorings Gallery, Mahone Bay, N.S.

2004                Lyghtesome Gallery, Antigonish, N.S.

2003                Studio 21, Halifax, N.S.

2003                Lunenburg Art Gallery, Lunenburg, N.S.

2001                Downeast Gallery, Toronto, Ontario

2000                Lay of the Light, St. Francis Xavier University, Antigonish, N.S.  and

City of Saint John Gallery, Saint John, N.B.

1997                Lyghtesome Gallery, Antigonish, N.S.

1995                Lunenburg Art Gallery, Lunenburg, N.S.

1995                Studio 21, Halifax, N.S.

1992                Lyghtesome Gallery, Antigonish, N.S.

1991                Robert McLaughlin Gallery, Oshawa, Ontario

1991                St. Francis Xavier University Gallery, Antigonish, N.S.

1991                Studio 21, Halifax, N.S.

1986                Lyghtesome Gallery, Antigonish, N.S.

1986                Zwickers Gallery, Halifax, N.S.

1986                Market House, Annapolis Royal, N.S.

1984                St. Mary’s University Art Gallery, Halifax, N.S.

1983                Gallery 1889, Tatamagouche, N.S.

1982                Wallack’s Art Editions, Ottawa, Ontario

1981                 Zwicker’s Gallery, Halifax, N.S.

1973/76/79    St. Francis Xavier University, Antigonish, N.S.

1980/83          Lyghtesome Gallery, Antigonish, N.S.

1975/78           Lyghtesome Gallery, Antigonish, N.S

GROUP EXHIBITIONS:

2009/2010     Nova Scotia Printmakers Association Annual Exhibition, Chase Gallery, Public Archives,

Halifax, N.S.

2006                Open  Water, Annual juried show, Canadian Society of Painters inWatercolour, Toronto, ON

2005                Unlimited Potential, Canadian Society of Painters in Watercolour, Homer Watson Gallery,

Kitchener, Ontario

2004                Celtic Colours, Inverness County Centre for the Arts, Inverness, N.S.

2003                Inksmithing, Nova Scotia Printmakers Association Biannual Exhibition, St. F.X.U., N.S.

2002                Open Water, Annual show, Canadian Society of Painters in Watercolour, Halifax, N.S.

2002                Women of the Art Bank, Government House, Halifax, N.S.

2001                Innovations on Paper, Nova Scotia Printmakers Association, Acadia Art Gallery,Wolfville, N.S.

1995/97           Far and Wide, Art Gallery of Nova Scotia, Halifax, N.S.

1994/98           N.S. Printmakers Assoc. Show (traveling)

1991                  Art Gallery of Nova Scotia Collection Series – N.S. Printmakers Assoc., Halifax, N.S.

1990                  N.S. Museum, Botanical Illustrations Through the Ages, Halifax, N.S.

1990                  Living Proof – N.S.P.A., St. F. X. U. Gallery, Antigonish, N.S.

1987                  Living Nature, National Museum of Natural Sciences, Ottawa, Ontario;

Painting used as poster for the exhibition.

1986                 Visual Facts, Dalhousie Art Gallery, Halifax, N.S.

1986                 Living Nature, National Museum of Natural Sciences, Ottawa, Ontario

1985/84/83     The 1st, 2nd, & 3rd Annual Print Exhibitions, The Willows Art Gallery, Canning, N.S.

1983                 Atlantic Print Exhibition, Art Gallery of Nova Scotia, Halifax, N.S.

1983                 Nova Scotia Art Bank, Art Gallery of Nova Scotia, Halifax, N.S.

1979                 Close to Home, The Art Gallery, Mount St. Vincent U., Halifax, N.S.

COLLECTIONS:

The Canada Council Art Bank                        IBM                                                    University of New Brunswick

Nova Scotia Art Bank                                     Alcan                                                   Art Gallery of Nova Scotia

Petro Canada                                                   Clarkson Gordon                                St. Mary’s University

VIA Rail                                              Canadian Airlines International                      St. F. X. University

Canadiana Fund for Government Residences, Ottawa

ARTICLES AND REVIEWS:

2003    Visual Arts News, Summer Issue

1999    Soft Ground, Chapter on Anna Syperek in Studio Rally, Art and Craft of Nova Scotia, by Robin Metcalf,

Gooselane Editions, Fredericton, N.B.

1991     Review of Anna Syperek at Studio 21 by Gil McElroy, Arts Atlantic 41

1984     Review of Anna Syperek at St. Mary’s University Art Gallery, Halifax, N.S., by Kit Lort, Arts Atlantic 20.

1984     Article “In an English Country Garden” by Marilyn Vance, Visual Arts  News, Halifax, N.S.

AWARDS:

2005     Nova Scotia Arts Council Grant

2002     Wittnauer Award,  ‘Best non-member work’ Canadian Society of Painters in Watercolour’s annual

Open Water exhibition

2001/05 Canada Council for the Arts Travel Grant

1982      Elizabeth Greenshields Foundation Grant to travel to England to paint and

study early English watercolourists.

CATALOGUES:

2005    Old New Scotland by Dr. Dan MacInnes for international traveling exhibit of the same name

1984    Anna Syperek by Carol Fraser for exhibition at St. Mary’s U., Halifax, N.S.

COMMISSIONS:

2001    Commemorative Painting for the Sisters of Notre Dame, Mount St. Bernard, Antigonish, N.S.

1997    Commemorative Painting for the Sisters of St. Martha, Antigonish, N.S.

1989    Poster of a watercolour painting, Public Relations, St. F. X. University, Antigonish, N.S.

1988    Limited Edition Etching of St. F. X. Campus for Public Relations, St. F.X.U.,  Antigonish, N.S.

1987    Commemorative Limited Edition Etching of Acadia University to celebrate

their  150th Anniversary. Wolfville, N.S.

Christmas Card Commissions:  Sisters of St. Martha, the Honorable Allan J. MacEachen

LECTURES:

2005   “Art and Spirituality”, Bethany Centre, Antigonish, N.S.

2002   Canadian Society of Painters in Watercolour, Lecture, National Watercolour Day, N.S. Archives, Halifax.

1996   “Art and Ethics”, Ethics Lecture Series, Philosophy Dept., St. Francis Xavier Univ.

1984   “History of Landscape Painting, St. Mary’s University

Numerous presentations on printmaking to local school programs

MEDIA PROFILES:

1990    Off the Wall – interview and profile of the artist, ASN Television – aired September, 1990

MEMBERSHIPS:

Maritime and Atlantic Printmakers Association – founding member, current secretary

Nova Scotia Printmakers Association- founding member,  current president

Visual Arts Nova Scotia

Society of Antigonish Printmakers- founding member

Canadian Society of Painters in Watercolour

PUBLICATIONS AND COVERS:

2009 “From Land and Sea: Nova Scotia’s Contemporary Landscape Artists”!

2003    St. Francis Xavier University Prayer Book, 2nd printing 2004

2001    CD cover,  Buddy MacMaster’s “Judique Flyer”

1991    Cover, Yankee Professor’s Guide to Life in Nova Scotia, by Philip Milner

1989    Cover & Illustrations for The History of Antigonish, by Patrick Walsh

1984    The Antigonish Review Portfolio

TEACHING AND COURSES:

Credit Courses: St. Francis Xavier University Art Department, Part-time Instructor: Drawing and Etching

Non-Credit Courses: St. Francis Xavier Continuing Education Program, drawing, painting and etching,

Guysborough District School Board Evening Course, Nova Scotia College of Art and Design Extension Program,

Labrador Creative Arts Festival, Goose Bay

Sunbury Shores Art and Nature Center, St. Andrews by the Sea, New Brunswick.

VIDEOS:

Wrote and co-starred with Susan Wakefield in a 20 minute educational video on intaglio printmaking

for the N.S. Printmakers Association and the N.S. Dept. of  Education

While with an eye made quiet by the power of Harmony, and the deep power of joy,

We see into the life of things .….William Wordsworth


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