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Artist Profile (Newfoundland Artist-Virginia Houston)

Virginia Houston was raised in St. Vincent's, in St. Mary's Bay on the Avalon Peninsula, of Newfoundland. She graduated with a B.A. Educ.(1973) and a B.A.(1980) from Memorial University before completing her M.A. in Art Education at the University of Southern Mississippi in 1986.


Virginia also studied watercolour painting with renowned Newfoundland artist, Ed Roche for thirteen years; took additional training through Memorial’s Art extension program; studied with Jim Morris and Margaret Ryan in Southern Mississippi; studied acrylic painting with renowned artists and winners of Ducks Unlimited, Ron Decker and Derek Wicks and continues to hone her skills through dozens of workshops with noted artists from Nova Scotia, Ontario, and beyond. Although accomplished in watercolours, oils and acrylics, Virginia’s medium of choice is acrylic and is presently working on Nova Scotia landscape paintings.


  Ms. Houston taught elementary school, including art, for 22 years; followed by eight years of teaching high school Art in St. John's. She also taught Art in the Memorial University extension program, as well as at the Salmonier Correctional Institute in Newfoundland. She has also worked with the ArtsSmart program (NL) in many schools including those in St. John's, Outer Cove, Mount Pearl, and St. Mary's Bay. Upon retiring from public education, Virginia opened her own School of Art for adults and children in 1995.

Virginia's work has been presented through many juried art shows and exhibitions for over 22 years in her native province. Her commissions, spanning some twenty years of work, hang in many fine homes, in private and public collections, as well as several offices of the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador as well as the Government of Nova Scotia; while her "limited edition" prints are found in galleries in St. John's, Grand Falls-Windsor, Corner Brook, Halifax and Toronto. Her paintings have been critiqued on many occasions in the St. John's Telegram, NTV Herald and the Southern Shore Post, the Downhome magazine and the Shoreline Post. Virginia's paintings are currently exhibited at the Artport Gallery at Halifax International Airport, Gallery 97 in Lower Sackville, NS,  and at Fisherman's Cove Gallery in Eastern Passage, NS as well as Winding River Art Gallery, Mastodon Ridge in Stewiake, NS.

The subject matter of Virginia's main body of work revolves around rural landscapes and sunsets as well as urban life, including street scenes, city architecture and still life. The inspiration for her paintings comes from many sources: including historical events, the decline of the fishery, the relocation of outport peoples, the physical landscape of Newfoundland and the people who live there. Beginning in 2006, Virginia began painting rural and urban vistas throughout the Maritimes.

Her first book, a compilation of her work capturing historical Newfoundland vistas, entitled Timeless Treasures: Historical Newfoundland in Art, was published in the fall of 2004. It contains 30 paintings, several which are also available as Limited Edition Prints of well-known Newfoundland architecture and villages. These books are available either as an Address Book or in a Guest Book format. Virginia is currently working on a new Art guidebook for teachers, parents and other supervisors of children from Grades 3 to 6. It will contain lessons in drawing, painting, sculpture and printmaking. Its purpose is to supplement Art programs in the schools or will work as a program in itself for children who have no programs in their schools.


Virginia will do commissions: if you are interested in having an original painting done you may contact her at vhouston@eastlink.ca or toll-free 1-877-211-3334. Since Virginia is presently living in Nova Scotia you may contact her locally at 902-861-1937 to visit her studio and gallery. (There is free shipping for any original painting to any Canadian or US address.)


All images on Virginia Houston Art are protected by copyright.