Aili Kurtis



biography under completion

Aili has spent the last thirty years studying, teaching, and working as an artist—in the realms of both fine art and graphic design. Raised in Yellowknife, N.W.T., Aili left the North to study painting at the Ontario College of Art (Toronto) and Ecole des Beaux Arts (Montreal) where she completed a four-year Fine Arts Diploma. She then went on to receive a B.A. in art education from the University of Quebec.

When Aili moved to Ottawa, she worked in the arts as the Art Director for CJOH-TV, the director of “Aili Studios” (which specialized in graphic design, illustration, and courtroom sketches), an instructor at the Ottawa School of Art, and as the Creative Director of Corel Corporation.

Her interest in philosophy and religion led her to travel extensively throughout the world including India and Tibet as well as many locations in Central and South America. While travel to other continents has broadened her spiritual and artistic sensibilities, it is the rugged beauty of Canada that is her inspiration.
Aili paints in acrylics, oils, and pastels in her studio overlooking beautiful Pike Lake in the Rideau Valley. This view, as well as trips north, has inspired her to explore the rhythms and patterns of the Canadian landscape. She looks for “the abstract within the real” and takes great pleasure in constructing a landscape as a convincing representational illusion, while simultaneously generating the abstraction that colour, dot, and pattern can bring. Aili believes that through the practice of art she is a witness and an active participant in the creative process of the universe.

Aili has won many awards and has had numerous solo and group exhibitions in galleries. She was awarded the title “Master Pastellist” (Pastel Artists Canada) and her award-winning work has been published in The Pastel Journal and International Artist Magazine as well as in the books: “Abstract Painting, A Celebration of Contemporary Art”; “AcrylicWorks: The best of Acrylic Painting”; “How Did They Paint That? 100 Ways to Paint the Landscape”.

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