Edward W. (Ted) Godwin graduated from the Southern Alberta Provincial Institute of Technology and Art in 1955. Godwin worked as an art director for television and as a neon sign designer until 1964, when he joined the faculty of the School of Art at the University of Regina. While a professor of Fine Arts at the University of Regina, he enjoyed an excellent rapport with students, retiring from teaching in 1985. From 1959 to 1965 Godwin studied with Barnett Newman, John Ferren, Jules Olitski and Lawrence Alloway at the Emma Lake Artists Workshop. Throughout his teaching career and since, Godwin has been an active professional artist, exhibiting in public and commercial galleries across Canada and in the United Kingdom.
With international exhibition history beginning in 1955 and spanning fifty years, Godwin has had over sixty solo exhibitions. After moving to Regina, he became the youngest member of the avant-garde group of Saskatchewan artists known as the ‘Regina Five’ and rose to national prominence with a 1961 National Gallery exhibition entitled Five Painters from Regina. As a founding member of the Regina Five, Godwin was instrumental in bringing Canadian Abstraction to the foreground in Western Canada.
Ted Godwin is known for his Tartan Series (1967-1975), Dying Orchids Series, and large landscapes of Canadian waters. The Tartan Series paintings, metaphorically signifying the complicated, disorganized nature of life, secured his place as a leading modern abstract painter in Canada. His large-scale interpretations of the Canadian landscape, distinctive in their rich colours and complex composition, are the product of his vivid imagination and keen recollection. Godwin has, and continues to explore various styles, that have secured his position as one of Canada’s foremost senior artists.
Godwin’s work has been collected by major institutions across Canada, including The National Gallery of Canada, the Art Gallery of Ontario, the Canada Council Art Bank, the Art Gallery of Hamilton, Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, the University of Regina, and the Confederation Art Centre. As well, his works are in numerous private and corporate collections. He was elected to the Royal Canadian Academy in 1974, was made Professor Emeritus in 2001, and received the Award of Excellence from the Alberta College of Art, and an honorary degree from the University of Regina in 2001. Ted Godwin received the Order of Canada in the summer of 2004.