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André Charles Biéler

André Charles Biéler was born in Switzerland in 1896, he immigrated to Montréal at the age of twelve. He served in the Canadian infantry during the First World War and, while recuperating from his injuries, began to study art. He studied with the Art Students League in Woodstock, New York from 1920-1926 and with his uncle, a fellow artist, Ernest Biéler in Switzerland. 

He lived in Québec from 1927 to 1936, painting Québec rural life. 

In 1936 he moved to Kingston Ontario and became the artist-in-residence at Queens University. He was also a professor of art until his retirement in 1964 at the university.

While still part of the Queen's faculty, in 1941, he organized the first conference of Canadian artists, a meeting which led to the creation of the Federation of Canadian Artists. This conference is believed to have set in motion the chain of events that led to the creation of the Canada Council in 1957. 

He was the founding director of the Agnes Etherington Art Centre, serving in the post from 1957 to 1963. He stayed in Kingston after his retirement and continued his career as a painter, printmaker, and sculptor.

His works often consist of portraits, landscapes, as well as city and market scenes. He used acrylics, watercolours, pen and ink. 

He was awarded an honorary Doctorate of Law at Queen's in 1964, accomnpanied by The André Biéler Studio in  the Agnes Etherington Art Centre. He also received the Order of Canada and is a member of The Royal Canadian Academy of Arts. 

He died in 1989, in Kingston Ontario. 

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