Robert Dmytruk is a Canadian artist. He studied fine arts and art education at the University of Alberta graduating with a B.Ed in secondary art. For many years he was a visual arts educator and an art curriculum consultant for the Edmonton Public School District and Concordia University/College. Robert has helped to guide and contribute to the art scene in Western Canada through his numerous teaching experiences, art workshops, art curriculum development, and his participation in the exhibition process. His commitment to art and arts education in Alberta was recognized in 2006 when he received the Prime Minister’s Award for Teaching Excellence in the Fine Arts and the Emily Carr School of Art and Design Award for Teaching Visual Arts.
Robert currently lives in Summerland, British Columbia where he creates art full time in his studio. He uses disciplines such as painting, drawing, and mixed media to support an implied narrative that references a specific location where he spent much of his early life. Located on Range Road 52 just one hour west of Edmonton, this property consistently acts as an anchor in his abstract work. Robert has developed his approach to contemporary painting for over 30 years and has been influenced by the flourishing arts scene in Alberta and British Columbia as well as his investigations into historical and contemporary painting. His early development as an artist was influenced by his art professors at the University of Alberta, particularly, David Cantine, Norman Yates and Douglas Haynes. Intrigued with the artistic approaches of artists Joan Miro, Paul Klee and Cy Twombly, Robert has developed a style that embodies the nuances and embellishments that exude from their work.
“Dmytruk has a large visual vocabulary and he speaks volumes with his lines, textures, patches of colour and undulating toned-downed atmospheres. His paintings are in fact playful, lilting and without a didactic hidden agenda, accepting the great opposites of our modern dilemma.” Julie Oakes, commentary from ‘Robert Dmytruk – Transitions’ Rich Fog Micro Publishing 2013.
My most recent body of work, the 'polka dot series', invites words like instinctive, fantastical, playful/whimsical and at times naively objective. They are paintings influenced by my many excursions to San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. The local artisans and contemporary artists of that community, whose uninhibited use of pattern, colour, shape and form, implanted a vision that is projected in this new series of paintings. The polka dot series brings to light vivid patterns and colours that seem to have been hidden, or only hinted at, in my past work for so long. This new series projects the stored 'visual recordings' of "Mexicana" perceptions which, when the right association is accidentally struck, are brought to the surface.
The polka series is a departure from my previous focus on a narrative of implied 'landscapes' that were rooted in my family history.