Joan Balzar

Throughout her career, which spans five decades, Joan Balzar's commitment to abstraction, spatial illusion, and the psychological manipulation of colour and light has remained constant.

Balzar was widely recognized as a key figure in the development of abstract painting on the West Coast in the 1960's, a time when Vancouver emerged as a city of increased energy and experimentation in visual art.

Like the Minimalists, who introduced arrangements of manufactured goods into the gallery, Balzar was interested in the new aesthetic of industrial materials such as neon tubing and plastics. But unlike the minimalists, she never abandoned painting, rather seeing neon light as a model for new optical possibilities and an expanded notion of the medium.

Balzar's current work and direction remains vital, and relevent within the contemporary milieu of abstract painting.

1958   Honours Graduate, Vancouver School of Art,
1958   Study in Paris,
1959   Travel study to Mexico and Guatamala,
              Commission to paint in major Mayan city of Takal, Guatamala
              Masters Curriculum in Fine Arts (incomplete), Instituto de Allende, San Miguel de Allende, Mexico

Solo Exhibitions
2003   Morris and Helen Belkin Satellite Gallery, UBC
1999   Mezzanine Art Gallery, Queen Elizabeth Theatre, Vancouver, BC
1969   Bibliotec National, Guatamala City, Guatamala
1968   Light on Light, Intermedia, Vancouver Art Gallery
1967   Exit Series, Intermedia, Vancouver Art Gallery
1969   Bau-Xi Gallery, Vancouver BC
1968   Bau-Xi Gallery, Vancouver BC
1967   Bau-Xi Gallery, Vancouver BC
1962   New Design Gallery, Vancouver, BC
1959   Palace of Capitanes Generales, Antigua, Guatamala
Group Exhibitions
2002   Victoria Art Gallery, A Little Bit of Funk,
2002   Vancouver Art Gallery, Colouring the West,
2001   Morris and Helen Belkin Gallery, UBC
1999   Vancouver Art Gallery, Out of This Century,
1996   Vancouver Art Gallery, Vancouver 1965 1975
1969   Seattle Art Museum, 55th Annual Northwest Artists
Seattle Museum, Seattle, Washington
University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta
Toronto Dominion Bank, Toronto, Ontario
El Peren, Guatamala
Antigua Museum, Guatamala
Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, BC
Vancouver Art Gallery, Vancouver, BC  (3 paintings)
Victoria Art Gallery, Victoria, BC   (2 paintings)
Morris Belkin Gallery, University of BC, Vancouver, BC   (4 paintings)
Private Collections in Canada and USA

1969   Allied Publications Prize Winning Paintings
1969   Bau-Xi Gallery Choice
1969   Vancouver Art Gallery Annual Painting Award
1968   Purchase Award, Seattle Art Museum
1967   Canada Council Grant
1957   Koerner Foundation Scholarship, UBC Summer School
1956   Koerner Foundation Scholarship, UBC Summer School
Douglas College Fundamentals of Painting and Drawing
Vancouver Art Gallery Advanced Painting, Figure Painting and Drawing
UBC Faculty Club Painting and Drawing
Vancouver Art School (Night School) Painting
University Women's Club Painting and Drawing
West Vancouver Recreation Centre Advanced Multimedia Workshop, 1954 - 1973