short biography

Tim Westbury is an artist, musician and graphic designer. He was born in London, England, and raised in Calgary, Canada. In 1971 he attended children’s weekend art classes at the newly-opened Alberta College of Art (now Alberta University of the Arts).


After graduation from high school in 1979, he studied at Trent University in Peterborough, Ontario. On a research trip to New York City in 1983, he and the other Honors degree candidates spent an afternoon in conversation with John Cage - and soon afterwards Tim began to think of the collages and found object constructions that he worked on as perhaps being “art.” 


Tim became increasingly active in artist-run culture after receiving his Cultural Studies degree, participating in his first curated group show at Artspace, Peterborough, in 1984, and sitting on the advisory board of Trent University’s Mackenzie Gallery the following year. Meanwhile he worked at Ordinary, an independent press, silkscreen and graphic design studio, before returning to Calgary in 1985 to attend the Alberta College of Art in its first year of institutional autonomy from the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology (SAIT). Awarded both Illingworth Kerr and Franck Vervoort Memorial Scholarships while attending ACA, Tim was elected head of the Student’s Association in 1987, and spearheaded the presentation of Pentimental, a major student exhibition staged at the College alongside the Olympic Arts Festival in February 1988. 


That summer he also moved his studio practice to Graceland, subletting Bart Habermiller’s studio there for two years. Tim’s first major solo exhibitions were held at the Muttart Art Gallery (now Contemporary Calgary) in 1991, and Stride Gallery in 1992.


In 1991 Tim began work at the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity, where he was employed in a broad range of capacities in the Media and Visual Arts departments over the next six years. His essay on Colette Urban’s performance was published in Radio Rethink in 1994, and he served as the provincial researcher for the accompanying Selected Survey of Radio Art in Canada 1967 - 1992. During this time, Tim was fortunate to work closely with many renowned Canadian and international artists, including Rebecca Belmore, Giselle Amantea, Janet Cardiff and George Bures Miller, Antonio Muntadas (Spain), Maureen Connor (USA), Astrid Haddad (Mexico) and Santiago Rodriquez Olazábal (Cuba).


After completing several successful curatorial projects with Daina Augaitis and Sara Diamond, he was appointed Assistant Curator of the Walter Phillips Gallery in 1994. 


In 1996 Tim became the father of triplets, and spent much of the next nine years as primarily a stay-at-home parent. He maintained an active studio practice however, and presented his third major solo exhibition, Weird Science, in 2001 at the University of Calgary’s Nickle Arts Museum (now the Nickle Galleries).    


He served as Programming Director at The New Gallery, Calgary’s original artist-run centre, from 2008 to 2012.

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