Ken HouseGo - Biography


Ken was born, in Simcoe, Ontario, in 1949. He is known both as an installation and mixed media artist; his work equally references both painting and sculpture. He has been awarded two large public commissions, one regional for the Wood’s Island Ferry Terminal in Prince Edward Island and the other provincial for the Queen Elizabeth II Hospital in Grande Prairie, Alberta. HouseGo is represented in a number of private and public collections and has shown extensively in the public and artist run galleries in Alberta.

By the time he was nineteen, he had lived in twelve different places that he called, ‘Home.’ His grandparent’s cottage in the village of Lions Head, Ontario on Georgian Bay was a constant in his life and became his favourite anchorage, a home away from home. The distinctive character and pervading spirit of the Bruce Peninsula is part of his personal identity.

He has lived and setup studios in Halifax, Montreal and Toronto before moving to Northern Alberta. He has lived in Peace River and Grande Prairie with his family since 1983, where he teaches in the Fine Arts Department for Grande Prairie Regional College.

The Ontario College of Art in Toronto refused his applications for admission in 1969 and 1970. He did not pass their entrance test however; they could not evaluate his passion. With a sense of humour, he relishes their refusals; in hindsight it was a blessing.

He entered the Visual Arts Program at Humber College in Toronto in 1970 and earned his B.F.A. in 1974 from the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design, Halifax. Later, he achieved a M.F.A. from York University and B.E.D. from The University of Toronto.

His art is often characterized by a sense of regionalism reflecting the integration of: environment, place, home, experiences and memories. His mixed media constructions and paintings are symbolic rather than representational and are informed by the discipline of fine art and inspired by naïve expressions.

As an artist or bricoleur (a handy man), he explores his own vernacular temperament to discover his personal aesthetic.

(Photograph by Paul Pivert, 2012)
(Photograph by Paul Pivert, 2012)