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Constance (Colette) Urban

Born: January 29th, 1952

Passed on: June 16th, 2013

Multi-Disciplinary Performance Artist, Teacher, Entrepreneur and Visionary. Born in Denver, Colorado, she spent most of her childhood in Michigan and North Carolina. After earning a BFA from Nova Scotia College of Art and Design, and an MFA from University of Victoria, she began a career teaching art in universities that extended from Western to Eastern Canada, while at the same time producing an impressive body of art work, mainly in the form of performances and installations. She retired from University of Western Ontario in 2007 to fulfill a dream, the product of which became Full Tilt, a multi-faceted business on the west coast of Newfoundland, which included an organic farm, an artist residency, a small gallery and two circa-1870 Guest Houses. Following Colette's most recent workshop at Full Tilt, Marlene Creates and Don McKay, two workshop participants, had this to say: “Colette's name for her artistic centre in Newfoundland is entirely appropriate: she has been as Full Tilt in her life as she is in her art. Her performances are distinguished by a fearless imagination given dramatic realization. Often it seems that images from deep in the unconscious had stepped into ordinary life. As anyone who has been lucky enough to meet Colette, or have a residency at Full Tilt Creative Centre can attest, her artistic achievement is matched by an enormous generosity of spirit. As a ground-breaking artist, a great spirit, and a friend, Colette will always be an inspiration.” Her many art works have been exhibited nationally and internationally, and are included in many private and public collections. She was Professor Emerita of University of Western Ontario, and in May 2012, she was elected as a Member of the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts. A retrospective exhibition of Colette's art, titled “Incognito”, will take place in October 2013 at Museum London, in London, Ontario. Colette is survived by her mother, Dorothy, of Stratford, Ontario; her father, Wilfrid, of Greensboro, North Carolina; and her sister, Julie, and brother-in-law Roger Lilak, of Petoskey, Michigan. Her friends, many of whom traveled great distances in her final months to personally bid her farewell, are too numerous to list. Those we hold most dear never truly leave us. They live on, in the kindnesses they showed, the comfort they shared and the love they brought to our lives. Colette lived a lot, loved a lot, cared a lot. She will be greatly missed.

 
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