2005 Mr. David C. Urban, MFA '94 | Alumni | University of Guelph

2005 Mr. David C. Urban, MFA '94

Judy Maddren

David C. Urban
MFA '94

David Urban was one of the first graduates of the University of Guelph's Master of Fine Art program, and his 1994 degree has been a feather in our cap ever since. He is now one of Canada 's most prominent painters whose work also attracts a discerning international audience.

He is an extremely active professional artist. In the first decade of his career, he had 30 solo exhibitions of his work and participated in nearly 40 group exhibitions. Most of these were hosted by private-sector commercial galleries. Only after making a name for himself with art collectors and buyers, he began to exhibit in public museums. David has attracted the attention of museums such as the Art Gallery of Ontario in his home city of Toronto and the Musée d'art contemporain de Montréal.  

For many observers in Canada, David Urban has come to represent the strongest and most ardent champion of painting, especially in the purest manifestation of painting in “abstract” art. He has earned this reputation not only through his notable exhibition activity but also through his contributions as a critical writer and exhibition curator. In 2002, he organized a major survey exhibition of paintings by Canadian artists sponsored by the Canadian Consulate General for the Shanghai Art Museum in China. A year later, he was elected to the Royal Canadian Academy of Art in recognition of his accomplishments.

David's professional success has enhanced the reputation of the MFA program in the School of Fine Art and Music, and many of the students who followed him to Guelph have enjoyed the benefits of his critical eye. He has been a frequent guest critic for the MFA program and was a speaker at the academic symposium “PAINT!” held in October 2004. He was also one of three artists who donated a work to the school's inaugural print portfolio, helping to ensure the success of this fundraising venture and once again benefiting the University's fine art programs and students.

During Alumni Weekend 2005, the University of Guelph Alumni Association will present David Urban with the Alumni Medal of Achievement. David is being recognized for his extraordinary talent, his contributions to Canadian art and the promise of continued cultural leadership as his career unfolds.


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