Enriching the Arts

Featured Artist: Jean K. Blackall, ASA


Jean K. Blackall, Taproot


Jean Katherine Blackall began her fine arts studies following Grade 12 graduation.  She attended Beal Art at H.B. Beal Technical School in London, Ontario for two years.  This was the early school of Jack Chambers, Greg Curnoe, Murray Favro and Patterson Ewen to name a few.  It was a school that mandated and developed the process of new thought and work.  Following marriage, and children, Blackall moved to Vancouver, B.C. where she continued her education at Capilano College in North Vancouver and completed her degree at Simon Fraser University, in Vancouver.

Blackall has kept current with her art studies by taking continuing courses with the Federation of Canadian Artists and Emily Carr University as well as participating in local courses wherever she resides.

In the arts community of Northern Ontario, Blackall’s unique style thrived and her first solo exhibition was in November of 1999 (Emergent Woman) while living in Timmins, Ontario.  From Timmins, Ontario she travelled with her husband to Saudi Arabia where they lived for two years.  In Ryadh, Saudi Arabia, at the 2000 Canadian Embassy Fine Arts Show, Blackall won both the People’s Choice Award and the Juries Choice Award.


Jean K. Blackall, Valley Moonlight

When Jean Katherine returned to Canada she and her husband chose to settle in the Crowsnest Pass in Alberta.  Her passion for Alberta, for the Canadian Rocky Mountains and for the Canadian prairies was born in Southern Alberta.

In 2001 Blackall was juried to Active Status in the Federation of Canadian Artists.  She continued to exhibit in group exhibitions and solo exhibitions throughout Alberta and in Ontario and British Columbia.  In 2008 she was juried to full membership in the Alberta Society of Artists.

To explore the challenge of the multi-layered history and textures of Alberta and the mountains, Blackall transitioned from watercolour work to mixed media collage.  The use of collage has enhanced and encouraged her individual, abstract style.  She feels that collage has brought her full-circle back to the unique and original work that was demanded of her in her schooling at BealArt.  She feels at home and complete when surrounded by piles of papers, inks, found materials and various hues of acrylics.  In the midst of the chaos her works are born.

Jean Katherine Blackall treasures her relationship with the natural environment of Alberta and also her memories of her urban time in Vancouver, BC.  She strives to have her art bring alive the vibrations and energies she has absorbed in both places.


Jean K. Blackall, Urban Asking, Urban Giving

Q & A with the ASA

ASA: Can you tell us about your influences?

Jean: My art has been deeply influenced by my faith and by my feminist perspective.  Two artists to whom I have looked for inspiration have been Emily Carr and Georgia O’Keefe – both strong women in their own right.  I have been personally encouraged and mentored by an artist in Northern Ontario, Lionel Venne.  He started me on the road to collage and has encouraged my growth.  My first solo exhibition (Emergent Woman) was birthed through the lense of my feminist experience and education.  My most recent solo exhibition grew out of memories from my faith-centered work with the homeless and disenfranchized people of Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside.

ASA: What would you consider to be your most successful body of work to date?

Jean: I consider my most successful body of work to be my most recent exhibition (Urban Re-Visited) where I replayed images from my years of work in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside. This work is not pretty and only one piece sold from the two solo exhibitions held.  It did, however, elicit the strongest reactions from viewers that my work has ever received.  The public turn their heads away from homeless people on the streets.  I felt proud to be the originator of this gripping body of work and achieved my goal which was “made you look!”


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The Alberta Society of Artists
Crossroads Art Centre
#302 – 1235 26th Avenue SE
Calgary, AB T2G 1R7
ASA Phone: (403) 265-0012

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