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Biography

Click here to download William Pura's CV (PDF)

William Pura was born in Winnipeg in the province of Manitoba, Canada and received his Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of Manitoba followed by a Master of Fine Arts degree from Indiana University in Bloomington. He subsequently returned to Manitoba where he taught Printmaking, Drawing, Painting and Color Theory at the University of Manitoba School of Art until 2010.

Stylistically his work has moved from landscape and figurative issues to geometric abstraction and then back again to more representational imagery.

His years in Indiana were formative in many ways, but most significantly he began to explore plein air painting with the encouragement of his friend Richard Nickolson. Experimenting with watercolor, ink wash and oils, the hours spend in the soft atmospheric light of southern Indiana opened up a whole new awareness of color in the landscape.

After moving away from his more abstract work, he again embraced the landscape, particularly the urban landscape, which allowed elements of abstraction in the architectural forms to be combined with three important elements: light – as a phenomenon that changes the appearance of objects, changes their color and with shadow, obscures and creates a sense of mystery; perspective - a pictorial element that changes the viewer’s relationship to the various subjects in the images and can create strong emotional responses to those forms; and memory - a special location, a coming together of buildings and the natural landscape, some combination of elements that evokes a strong sense of place.

With the exploration of the urban landscape the effect of artificial light became an important part of the paintings and led to the series Night Roads – the urban landscape viewed from the automobile. Most recently, while continuing to work on the urban images, he began exploring new themes: technology and how it alters our perception of our world and mechanical objects within the landscape that interact with our world creating new relationships.

The on-going series, Green Night, is an exploration of the world as seen through night-vision technology. Again, the element of light is the guiding factor, although in this case it is light distorted by a technology that has created a new understanding of the visual world. The web link for that body of work is: http://greennight.williampura.com/

Mr. Pura has exhibited widely in Canada, the U.S. and internationally. He has had solo exhibitions at the Winnipeg Art Gallery and the Centennial Concert Hall in Winnipeg, as well as private galleries such as the Thomas Gallery, the Uptown Gallery and Gurevich Fine Art. He has been included in many international exhibitions in centers such as Chicago, Illinois; El Paso, Texas; Charlotte, North Carolina; Indianapolis, Indiana; Rockford, Illinois; cities throughout Australia; Passau, Germany, Maastricht, Holland; and Kiev, Ukraine.

Besides several public institutions such as The Winnipeg Art Gallery, Department of External Affairs in Ottawa, and the United States Information Agency, Washington DC, his work is part of many corporate and private collections in both the United States and Canada including: Prudential Life Insurance Co., Miller Brewing Company, Esso Resources, College of Physicians and Surgeons in Manitoba, Nova Corporation, Archer Communications, C.P.Rail, Trimac Corporation, and Pitblado, Buchwald, Asper.

In 2015 he moved to Santa Fe, New Mexico where he set up a new studio. He has had shows at Warehouse 21 (now Studio Center of Santa Fe), Adobe Rose Theater and the Veteran’s Center at the Santa Fe Community College.

William Pura