Artist-Info - Ted Godwin (1933-2013) - Assiniboia Gallery

Ted Godwin (1933-2013)



Ted Godwin was born in 1933 in Calgary, Alberta. His early interests were music and art, but at age 14 he chose to pursue a future in art. In 1955, after studying at the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology and Art (now the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology) in Calgary, Godwin became a television artist and a neon sign designer. He worked at these occupations in Lethbridge, Calgary, and Regina between 1955 and 1963.

He and his wife, fellow artist Phyllis Godwin, moved to Regina, Saskatchewan in 1958, a time when the arts were beginning to flourish in Saskatchewan. Godwin soon found like-minded colleagues in Arthur McKay, Kenneth Lochhead, Douglas Morton and Ronald Bloore (McKay, Morton, and Bloore are all also presented in this Theme, Beyond Representation). They became known as “The Regina Five” as a result of the 1961 National Art Gallery of Canada exhibition, Five Painters from Regina.

Within this group Godwin, who was 27 at the time, was known as the “kid” or the “rising star”. Godwin and his fellow artists embraced the Abstract Expressionism movement and furthered their knowledge and camaraderie by attending many Emma Lake workshops with famous American Abstract Expressionist painters like Barnett Newman.

In 1964 Godwin became a professor at the University of Saskatchewan, Regina Campus, where he taught painting until he retired and moved back to Calgary in 1985.

In retirement, Godwin continues to paint and mount one-man exhibitions in major art galleries. He has also embarked on a writing career and has written; Messages from the Real World: A Professional Handbook for the Emerging Artist, 2002; Lower Bow: A Celebration of Wilderness, Art and Fishing (Exhibition Catalogue, 1992) and Ted Godwin: The Tartan Years 1967-1976 (Exhibition Catalogue, 1999). Godwin received a Saskatchewan Book Award for his handbook for artists in 1999. In 2001, he received an Honorary Doctorate of Law degree from the University of Regina and the Alberta College of Art Award for excellence. In 2004, he became an Officer of the Order of Canada. He began writing his memoirs in 2007.

Godwin’s flamboyant personality and tendency to seek the unconventional have been driving forces in his life. He is always eager to live life to the fullest, take a risk and enjoy a hearty laugh. As he admits himself, “I have had a journey you wouldn’t believe.” (Godwin, 2007)