Saturday is World Teacher Day! This week’s Work of the Week is by a trailblazing figure in arts education in Alberta and one of the province’s earliest pioneers of modernist art—Helen Stadelbauer. In 1963, Stadelbauer created and headed the University of Calgary’s Faculty of Fine Arts and also launched its BA programs in Art, Drama and Music. She taught for 31 years until she retired in 1989.
Even following her death in 2006, Stadelbauer continued blessing arts education in Calgary by having willed a portion of her estate and five of her paintings to the University of Calgary to fund scholarships in developmental art, studio art, and art history--disciplines she had helped establish there.
About the Artist: Helen Stadelbauer (1910-2006)
One of Alberta’s earliest pioneers of modernist art, Helen Stadelbauer is hailed for her vivid sketches, paintings, and photographs of Canadiana. She devoted her life to arts education and transformed the University of Calgary’s Department of Art into the outstanding institution it became.
Born in Calgary in 1910, Stadelbauer cultivated her drawing and painting skills during regular family vacations in the Rocky Mountains. After becoming a high school art teacher, she taught for eight years in rural and urban schools, but continued her own arts education at the Banff School of the Arts and other institutions, and through landscape painting tours of Calgary and Banff. In 1945, when the University of Alberta’s Calgary branch absorbed the Calgary Normal School where she taught, Stadelbauer became one of the first members of its Education faculty. After receiving an Advanced Diploma in Fine Arts from the Alberta College of Art, she moved to New York to earn her MA at Columbia University, and later to London to achieve a full diploma from the Royal Drawing Society.