Born in Liverpool England, Ed Hughes has been painting with oils since he was eleven. He doesn’t remember much about grammar school art classes but vividly remembers being allowed and even encouraged to draw marvelous cat skeletons, dogfish, crustaceans, insects and other magical specimens during Biology class. Biology turned out to be the foundation for both his art and healthcare careers. Ed worked as a physician for many years but continued painting throughout that life-phase and didn’t just make his own art. He systematically integrated art into his medical world through research into art therapy as a healing tool for patients and visual literacy training for medical learners. He published extensively on art and reproduction and once provided attendees at national medical conference with an art-facilitator and all the space and materials needed to make quilt squares that reflected the essence of their careers. What a contrast that was, to all of the science! And any workspace Ed and his colleagues occupied was quickly turned into a mini-gallery for the benefit of patients and staff.

Ed is a largely self-taught artist who has grown through the mentorship of others, as well as through courses at the Dundas Valley and Ottawa Schools of Art. He now paints full-time, from the unceded traditional territories of the Lkwungen (Lekwungen) peoples in Victoria BC, where he was recently named a finalist in the Salt Spring National Art Prize. Ed’s paintings are sometimes edgy, sometimes whimsical but always pensive. And whatever he makes, it’s with love and passion for design, form and color.

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Ed Hughes