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Gyo-Zo Spickett

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Gyo-Zo Spickett Biography

Ronald Spickett was born in 1926 in Regina, Saskatchewan and moved to Calgary to attend the Provincial Institute of Technology and Art (1946-1949).  The Glenbow Museum holds more than 350 of Ron Spickett’s works, as well as his personal archive of letters, documents and photographs. Spickett was considered one of the most avant-garde painters of his generation, and had an enormous impact on Calgary's art community. His fascinating life included starting out as an editorial cartoonist, serving in the Royal Canadian Navy in the Second World War. He went on to teach at the Alberta College of Art and Design and the University of Calgary. He studied art in Mexico and Japan, and temporarily give up art for 20 years to devote his life to the practice of Zen Buddhism, taking on the name Gyo-Zo.  In 2009, Calgary's Nickle Arts Museum held a retrospective of his work called “Spirit Matters.” A book by the same title, written by Geoffrey Simmins and containing writings about and interviews with Spickett, was published in 2009.  Gyo-Zo Spickett passed away in April 2018 at the age of 92