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André Biéler, an artist and Professor of Art, was born in Switzerland in 1896 and died at Kingston, Ontario in 1990. In 1908 the family came to Canada where his father became a Professor of Theology for francophone students at Montreal's Presbyterian College. Biéler attended Westmount Academy, Stanstead College, and entered L'Institut Technique de Montréal.
He enlisted in the Armed Forces in 1915 and served until 1919 when he returned to Canada. The following year he entered the Art Students League in Woodstock, New York and in 1921 left to study in Europe with his uncle, Ernest. After he returned to Canada in 1926, he painted for some time on the Ilê d'Orléans. In 1931, Biéler married Jeannette Meunier of Montreal, an interior decorator. The following year he began to offer studio art classes in Montreal. His teaching and painting continued until 1936, when he was offered an appointment to teach art at Queen's University. He was a principal organizer of the Kingston Conference of Canadian Artists in 1941. From this emerged the Federation of Canadian Artists of which he was the first President. Dr. Biéler was resident Artist and Professor, Department of Art, Queen's University for twenty-seven years. During this time he established the Summer School of Fine Art at the University in 1942, and was instrumental in the planning of Agnes Etherington Art Centre, established in 1957, of which he was its first director.
André Biéler continued to paint and remained involved with the Art Centre. In 1963, he was named Man of the Year by the Kingston Junior Chamber of Commerce for his development and promotion of the Art Cantre.In 1967, he was awarded a Centennial Medal and in 1969, an LL.D from Queen's. His retirement was an active one, with continued creation of artistic works.
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