Harbuz, Ann (1908-89)

Ann Alexander Harbuz was born on July 25, 1908, in Winnipeg, the daughter of Mike and Maria Napastuik. A self-taught artist, she became renowned for painting folk art. Her subject matter depicted a 20th-century Canadian Ukrainian rural (prairie) perspective. Her reinterpretations are autobiographical, historical and cultural events specific to her community and life experiences. Her childhood was spent near Whitlow, Saskatchewan. When Harbuz was 12 her mother died, and she cared for five siblings. Ann then moved to Richard, Saskatchewan, where she lived for twenty years raising her own family with her first husband. After her divorce she married Mike Harbuz, a cabinet-maker, in 1945. They lived in North Battleford for ten years, raising their daughter. In 1955 they moved to Ponoka, Alberta, where they managed a bargain store. In 1967, Ann moved back to North Battleford and took painting lessons. During her career she was commissioned to do a painting for the 1976 Montreal Olympics, and presented a painting to T.C. Douglas. Her work is exhibited across Canada and collected in numerous private and permanent collections including the Mendel Art Gallery, the Saskatchewan Arts Board, and the MacKenzie Art Gallery. She died in North Battleford on April 29, 1989.

Patricia Deadman