Jack Shadbolt

B 1909 - 1998

"Art that is vital is always closest to home" - Jack Shabolt

Jack Shadbolt's paintings reflect his experiences living in British Columbia, studying in New York or working overseas during World War II.

Shadbolt was born in village of Shoeburyness, England. In 1912 his family immigrated to Canada, moving to Victoria in 1914.  He began his artistic studies at Victoria College in 1927. In 1930 he met Emily Carr, who would become a life long influence. He studied at the Vancouver School of Decorative and Applied Arts (1931) with Charles H. Scott and Fred Varley before travelling to England and taking classes at the Euston Road School (1937), followed by studies in Paris at The Académie-Grande Chaumière and at the André Lhote School of Art (1938).

In 1942, he enlisted in the army where he documented his experience in sketches.  His practice shifted towards social realism during the war. In 1948 Shadbolt and his wife moved to New York where Shadbolt attended classes at the Art Students' League (1948-9). At this time in his career Picasso, surrealism and early Abstract Expressionism were strong influences.  Shadbolt also taught both painting and drawing at the Vancouver School of Art. In 1955 he was the first instructor at the Emma Lake workshop, Regina College, Saskatchewan.

Jack Shadbolt represented Canada in the Venice and Sao Paulo Biennials, the Carnegie International at Pittsburg and at the Brussels and Seattle World fairs. In 1972 he was appointed Officer to the Order of Canada. In 1988 the Jack and Doris Shadbolt Foundation for the Visual Arts was formed which supports an annual awards program. In 1995 the Burnaby Arts Centre was renamed the The Shadbolt Centre for the Arts, in 1995.