2009 David Umholtz

Portrait of David Umholtz, Strathbutler Award 2009

Portrait of David Umholtz, Strathbutler Award 2009 (photo – James Wilson)

David Ulmholtz won the Strathbutler in 2009. Working from his studio on Deer Island, Ulmholtz focused much of his creative attention on printmaking. He founded the Moosehead Press in Winnipeg where he created lithographs, seriographs and etchings.

His long national and international career as a printmaker, master printer, educator, cultural activist, entrepreneur, and mentor has influenced generations of students, and other professional practitioners across Canada and elsewhere. Noted for his attention to detail and an individual vocabulary of marks and signs, Ulmholtz exhibited throughout North America. His work is found in private and public collections. Ulmholtz has had a long and varied teaching career. He has received many Canada Council Grants and served as a member of the New Brunswick Arts Board and received the New Brunswick Lieutenant Governor’s Award for High Achievement in Visual Arts in 2012. Mr. Ulmholtz died in 2014 in his beloved home on Deer Island.

In the artist’s words

The Log of the Abenaki is a visual record of my experience and regard for the maritime. In various media the log chronicles a geography that is part fact, part invention, part fancy. My interest in cartography represents the human need to map place and record events, but so often this is an elusive task as one’s perception can easily shift, and change is always occurring. I hope these images will be regarded as a visual song – a visual poem about maritime landscape. Please note that none of these prints are fit for the purpose of navigation. The artist wishes to acknowledge the support of the New Brunswick Arts Board and the Canada Council for the Arts.

David Umholtz was born in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania in 1943 and studied art education in Pennsylvania before coming to Canada in 1973. He taught art at the University of Saskatchewan, the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design, the University of Manitoba, and the Emily Carr College of Art and Design in Vancouver.  In 1977 Umholtz founded the Moosehead Press in Winnipeg and during the winters he managed the Press and printed lithographs, serigraphs and etchings for himself and for a distinguished list of other Canadian artists. As visiting artist or technical consultant he seems to have been associated with every printmaking institution in Canada, including the Holman Eskimo Co-op.

He has had solo exhibitions from Halifax to Vancouver and in the United States. His work is included in major Canadian collections, including the Canada Council Art Bank, the New Brunswick Art Bank, and the Beaverbrook Art Gallery, as well as the University of New Brunswick. David Umholtz’s lived and maintained a studio on Deer Island until his death in July, 2014 NB.