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YURISTY: BIOGRAPHY & LIFE STORY

Artist ImageRussell Yuristy was born on March 23, 1936 near Goodeve, Saskatchewan. He spent two years farming before enrolling in the University of Saskatchewan in Saskatoon, majoring in English and Creative Writing, and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in 1962. After graduation, Yuristy attended arts classes at the university, studying sculpture, painting, printmaking, drawing and art history. These classes fostered an interest in art and Yuristy later attended the University of Wisconsin in Madison where he graduated in 1967 with a Master of Science in Art, with a major in painting and a minor in graphics. In 1967 Yuristy joined the Visual Arts faculty at the University of Regina as an Instructor in Art, a position which he held until 1971, when he relocated to Silton, Saskatchewan. He stopped working in clay in 1976. While Yuristy’s drawings and paintings are well known, he is perhaps most widely recognized for his functional, large-scale sculptures designed for children’s playgrounds. These grew out of his Creative Playgrounds Workshop formed in Silton in 1971, and over the years he has created sculptures in Regina, Saskatoon, Swift Current, Ottawa, London, Ontario, and Churchill, Manitoba. In 1981 the Dunlop Art Gallery in Regina organized an exhibition of Yuristy’s work entitled Russell Yuristy, Sculpture 1971-1981 in Photographs and Drawings, which toured to the Swift Current National Exhibition Centre. Yuristy has been awarded several major commissions, including two large, playground sculptures for the 1974 World’s Fair in Spokane, Washington, three outdoor sculptures for the Saskatchewan Pavilion Playcourt at Expo ’86 in Vancouver, and Saskatchewan Rain, an aluminium sculpture commissioned for the C.B.C. Building courtyard in Regina in 1984. His work can be found in many national and corporate collections, including the Canada Council Art Bank, Ottawa; Canadian Museum of Civilization, Hull, Quebec; Department of External Affairs, Ottawa; Dunlop Art Gallery, Regina; MacKenzie Art Gallery, Regina; Mendel Art Gallery, Saskatoon; National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa; Ottawa Art Gallery; and the Saskatchewan Arts Board in Regina. Russell Yuristy currently lives in Ottawa and teaches Woodcut Printing at the Ottawa School of Art.



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