Gerald Ferguson

About the Artist

Gerald Ferguson was born in the Cincinnati, Ohio, in 1937. He completed his Master of Fine Arts Degree at Ohio University in 1966 and came to Canada in 1968 at the invitation of the newly appointed president of the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Ferguson was instrumental in elevating the College to an internationally recognized art college.

Ferguson brought with him to Halifax a passion to make art of the highest quality. The “art biz” can be a quirky part of the world, and it is odd that Ferguson, a painter, has often been identified with an art school long considered antagonistic to painting. He has, in his own individualistic way, always maintained the viability of painting. During his career, however, he invented a  styleA way of doing something. Use of materials, methods of working, design qualities and choice of subject matter reflect the style of the individual, culture, movement, or time period.  that has been called “task-oriented” painting, remaining faithful to a method using stencils.

Many of Ferguson’s works are painted on stretched, unprimed marine cloth rather than painter’s canvas, a deliberate move away from the traditional painter’s material, and perhaps homage to the seagoing traditions of his adopted Nova Scotia home. He expressed his unconventional approach in the following way: “If it looks like a canvas, then it must be a painting, right? I mean, if it looks like a duck, walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, then it must be a duck, right?” (Cybermuse, retrieved from the Internet March 13, 2009)

Ferguson’s artwork can be found in many public and private collections, and he has had solo exhibitions at galleries across Canada. In 1996 Ferguson received the Canada Council for the Arts Molson Prize.


Canadian Heritage University of Regina Mackenzie Art Gallery Mendel Art Gallery Sask Learning