Peter Shostak was born and raised on a farm in northeastern Alberta. His early interest in art inspired a formal education that led to an associate professorship of Art Education at University of Victoria.
After 10 years, in 1979, he left teaching to pursue a full-time career as an artist.
Much of Shostak’s art reflects his memories of growing up on the prairies during the late forties and fifties. Three publications, When
Nights Were Long, Saturday Came But Once a Week, and Hockey…under winter skies, reveal some of his personal history.
His most ambitious project, to which he devoted five years of painting, was completed in 1991 with the unveiling of his series “For Our Children“. These fifty large oil paintings, portraying pioneer settlement of Western Canada (based on Ukrainian experiences), have been exhibited across Canada. All fifty paintings, along with background stories gleaned from Shostak’s many years of research, are reproduced in the coffee table book For Our Children.
In 2003, Peter Shostak received the Queen’s Golden Jubilee Medal in recognition of his outstanding exemplary contribution to Canada. His other awards include the Taras Shevchenko Medal, the highest honour awarded by the Ukrainian Canadian Congress. The Medal recognizes exceptional achievement in culture and the arts and is measured by the recipient’s level of excellence and initiative, body of work, peer recognition and the impact both within and outside the Ukrainian Canadian community.
After living in Victoria for many years, Shostak now lives in Courtenay, B.C. He often returns to Alberta to photograph and refresh his mental images of prairie life and the landscape.