Paul Ygartua

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Paul Ygartua (2014). Photo by M.D. Silverbrooke.

Paul Ygartua (born 16 June 1945) is a Canadian artist of British birth. He is an easel painter and draftsman who has worked in numerous styles over the years. Ygartua has painted some of the largest murals in Canada and the United States.[1][2][3][4]

Early life and education[edit]

Ygartua was born in Bebington, England, a suburb of Liverpool. He graduated from the Liverpool School of Art in 1965 with a degree in Industrial Design (NDD). He immigrated to Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada in 1966.[5]


Ygartua has been a full-time artist since about 1968. He has worked on art projects for extended periods in Berlin, Germany (1968); Acapulco and Cabo San Lucas, Mexico (1971, 1999 and 2000); Crete and Corfu, Greece (1972); Gran Canaria, Canary Islands (1973); Scottsdale, Arizona (1976); New Orleans, Louisiana (1978); Jerusalem, Israel (1980); Honolulu, Hawaii (1981 and 1982); Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (1984); San Juan, Puerto Rico (1985); Quebec City, Canada (1994); Sydney, Australia (2002); and Montreal, Canada (2001). His most frequent work locations away from Vancouver are Cannes and Paris, France; London, England; and Bilbao and Barcelona, Spain.[1][2][3]

His mediums include acrylic on canvas, fresco, oil,[6] graphite, pen and ink, pastel, poster, lithograph and mixed mediums. His subjects include portraits, figures, still life, nudes, landscapes, seascapes, cityscapes, social commentary, cultural anthropology, native Indians and pure abstraction, in styles including Realism, Fauvism, Abstract Expressionism and Surrealism.[1][2][7]

His murals are illustrated in the books The Expo Celebration: The Official Retrospective Book (1986); Canadian Landmarks and Popular Places (1991); The Chemainus Murals (1993);[8] Canada: Coast to Coast (1998); and The Encyclopedia of British Columbia (2000).[1][9][10][11][12][13]

He's exhibited easel paintings with the Federation of Canadian Artists (1979,1981 and 1987); New York Art Expo (1987); Salon d'Automne, Grand Palais, Paris, France (1990, 1992, 1994 and 1995); The Canadian Heritage Art Society (1991); Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum (1991, 1992 and 1997); Sala de Cultura, Bilbao, Spain (2003); and the Firenze Biennale, Florence, Italy (2005).[1][2]

The locations of his murals include Waikiki, Hawaii (Rodeo Club, 7 ft X 25 ft – 1981); Chemainus, B.C. (Native Heritage, 25 ft X 50 ft – 1983 and The Hermit, 8 ft X 16 ft – 2008 ); Vancouver, B.C. (EXPO '86 United Nations Pavilion A World United, 30 ft X 100 ft – 1986); Oshawa, Ontario (Oshawa Generals, 15 ft X 35 ft – 1997); Ely, Nevada (United by Our Children, 30 ft X 110 ft – 2001); and Gorliz, Spain (Gorliz Gehituz, 30 ft X 92 ft – 2010).[1][2][10][13][14][15][16][17][18][19][20]

His largest mural to date Legends of the Millennium/Salute to the Record Breakers is painted on two walls of the Beachcomber Hot Tubs and Spa Factory, located in Surrey B.C.[21] The over 9000 square foot (24 ft X 390 ft) fresco was created by Ygartua in 2000 and restored by him in 2011.[1][2][22][23][24]

Ygartua's most recent mural Bella Bella – United in History was commissioned by Shearwater Marine Group to commemorate the history of Bella Bella,[25] B.C. The 22' X 120' fresco depicts seventeen important individuals that made a significant contribution to the history of Bella Bella since its founding, by the Hudson's Bay Company, as a trading post in 1833.[26] The mural was entirely drawn and painted by Ygartua, on the side of a World War II airplane hangar on Denny Island, in 20 days (22 May to 10 June 2013).[4][27][28][29]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g Silverbrooke, M.D. "AskART". AskART.
  2. ^ a b c d e f Westbridge, Anthony R. (2003). 'The Collector's Dictionary of Canadian Artists at Auction. Vancouver: Westbridge Publications Ltd. ISBN 9780968590737.
  3. ^ a b Morys-Edge, Derek (1986). Artists of British Columbia. Vancouver: The Chartwell Publishing Company. ISBN 9780969240617.
  4. ^ a b Shearwater Marine. "United in History".
  5. ^ "Paul Ygartua – Muralist". Retrieved 12 November 2015.
  6. ^ "Liverpool makes the most of its claims on Beatles' fame". Lexington Herald-Leader. Retrieved 12 November 2015.
  7. ^ "Original artist restores Chemainus's most famous mural". Times Colonist. Retrieved 12 November 2015.
  8. ^ "The hermit's trail". Postmedia News. Retrieved 7 December 2015.[permanent dead link]
  9. ^ Reynolds, Lindor (1991). Canadian Landmarks and Popular Places. Vancouver: Whitecap Books. ISBN 9781895099829.
  10. ^ a b Bunbury, Cynthia (1993). The Chemainus Murals. Chemainus, B.C.: The Chemainus Festival of the Murals Society. ISBN 9780969316114.
  11. ^ Byers, Andrew R. (1998). Canada Coast to Coast. Montreal: The Reader's Digest Association (Canada) Ltd. p. 34. ISBN 9780888505750.
  12. ^ Francis, Daniel (2000). The Encyclopedia of British Columbia. Madeira Park, B.C.: Harbour Publishing Ltd. p. 123. ISBN 9781550172003.
  13. ^ a b Murray, Derik (1986). The Expo Celebration: the official retrospective book. Vancouver: Whitecap Books. ISBN 9780921061014.
  14. ^ Fleming, Ronald Lee (1987). Place Makers: creating public art that tells you where you are. Boston: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich. p. 122. ISBN 9780151720002.
  15. ^ Reynolds, Lindor (1991). Canadian Landmarks and Popular Places. Vancouver: Whitecap Books Ltd. ISBN 9781895099829.
  16. ^ Ely Nevada. "United by Our Children Mural". Retrieved 8 July 2013.
  17. ^ Chemainus. "Native Heritage". Archived from the original on 9 November 2013. Retrieved 9 July 2013.
  18. ^ Chemainus. "The Hermit". Archived from the original on 24 November 2012. Retrieved 9 July 2013.
  19. ^ Molano, Eva. "Un lienzo de 140 metros para Gorliz". El Correo. Retrieved 9 July 2013.
  20. ^ "History, heritage, and honour – a Remembrance Day like no other". Coast Mountain News. Retrieved 7 December 2015.
  21. ^ "Beachcomber Hot Tubs".
  22. ^ "Surrey mural gets a facelift". Surrey Leader. Retrieved 12 November 2015.
  23. ^ "Surrey mural gets a facelift". BC Local News. Retrieved 12 November 2015.
  24. ^ "Some Icing on the mural cake". The Chronicle. Retrieved 7 December 2015.
  25. ^ "United in History Celebration". Retrieved 12 November 2015.
  26. ^ "Chemainus – The city of world famous murals". Daily News. Retrieved 7 December 2015.
  27. ^ Rice MLA, Jennifer. "Speech to legislature, July 11, 2013". Archived from the original on 26 January 2016. Retrieved 13 July 2013.
  28. ^ "History, heritage, and honour – a Remembrance Day like no other". Coast Mountain News. Retrieved 7 December 2015.
  29. ^ "Muralist back to repaint iconic mural". Archived from the original on 22 February 2016. Retrieved 7 December 2015.

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