“As an artist I am like a kid, gesturing, painting, look! Look! What a great thing we are a part of and how beautiful! How perfect!” 2008
Known best for his children’s play structures in the form of giant animals, Russel Yuristy uses a variety of media in his sculpture, prints, paintings and drawings. His themes often draw on nature and his experiences growing up in rural Saskatchewan.
Yuristy studied art at the University of Saskatchewan and earned an MSc in Art from the University of Wisconsin. From 1967-1971, he taught drawing and painting at the University of Saskatchewan and during the summers as coordinator of the Emma Lake artists workshops for professional artists. He was a colleague of Joe Fafard and David Gilhody, and became associated with the “funk” ceramic scene in Regina before moving to rural Silton, Saskatchewan. There he became the leader of the Creative Playgrounds Workshop, which involved local youth in constructing novel play structures for children.
Yuristy continues to create large-scale woodcuts, drypoints and etching. He taught at the University of Ottawa and now teaches woodcut printing at the Ottawa School of Art. His interest in the natural world and the environment are expressed in his work Green Bird.