Katie Ohe, RCA, LLD is a Canadian sculptor of international renown, a beloved teacher, and known as one of the first artists to make abstract art in Alberta. Born in the hamlet of Peers in 1937, Ohe studied at ACAD, Montreal School of Art and Design, Sculpture Centre in New York, and Fonderia Fabris in Verona, Italy. She also studied for a year with Dr. Arthur Lismer at the Montreal Museum.
Ohe’s works are interactive, abstract kinetic installations, mainly metal, and based on ideas from everyday experience. Driven by a lifelong desire to express thoughts and emotions, her sculptures compel viewers’ fingers to set them in mesmerizing motion. For 40 years, Ohe has quietly endowed Calgary public spaces, as well as corporate and private collections, with her bold, elegantly fluid pieces.
Ohe is the recipient of many honours: Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal, presented by the Premier (2012); Lecturer Emeritus, ACAD (2012); Alberta Centennial Medal (2006); Queen’s Golden Jubilee Medal (2002); Honorary Degree, Doctor of Laws (University of Calgary, 2001); ACAD Alumni Award of Excellence (1991); Allied Arts Award (Royal Architectural Institute of Canada Commissions, 1984). She is a member of the Royal Canadian Academy of Art and co-founder of Kiyooka Ohe Art Centre (KOAC).
Recent public commissions: “Three Monsoons” (Kahanoff Foundation, 2011-12); Janet’s Crown (ACAD, 2001). Recent solo and group exhibitions: Art Gallery of Calgary (2006); “Greetings, Katie Ohe” (Travel Alberta); Stride Gallery (2001); “Inhabiting Spaces” (Triangle Gallery, Calgary; Gdansk, Poland; Porto, Portugal; Porvoo, Finland, 2010); “Seven Canadian Sculptors” (Shanghai, 2008); “Migrations” (Tinos, Greece, 2004); “Kaleidoscope” (Amsterdam, Holland; Ostova, Czechoslovakia, 2000). Ohe’s work is featured in the Canada Council Art Bank; Alberta Foundation for the Arts; the Shell Collection; University of Calgary; and Glenbow Museum.
Ohe is also a respected instructor, mentor, adjucator, curator, and lecturer, having taught sculpture at ACAD since 1970. Her students include high profile artists such as Evan Penny, Christian Eckart, Brian Cooley, Alexander Caldwell, and Isla Burns. Artist Carroll Taylor-Lindoe says Ohe’s teaching and art are inseparable: “Art isn’t something that Katie does, it’s who she is.”