Hey you! Welcome.
Christopher Shoust is a Canadian artist who has been working professionally for over a decade building a catalogue of hundreds and hundreds of works that range from flatwork like painting and drawing, to film and video, to music to writing.
– graduated from a Journalism and New Media program at St. Clair College in Windsor, Ontario
– completed a French language certificate with L’Ecole de langue francaise at the Universite du Quebec a Chicoutimi
– graduated with a bachelor of fine arts at Algoma University in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario with a minor study in English literature
Grants / Awards
Deaf and Disability Arts Grant from The Ontario Arts Council – 2018
Northern Arts Grant from the Ontario Arts Council- 2016
Exhibition Assistance Grants – 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011(2), 2012(2), 2013, 2014(2), 2015, 2016, 2018
Deaf and Disability Arts Materials and Supplies Assistance Grant from The Ontario Arts Council – 2016
John Deakin Buckley Walton Scholarship – 2009
Algoma University President’s Award – 2010
Rising Star award at the Canada International Film Festival – 2013
“Motion and Degradation” in Windsor, Ontario at Kush Lounge – Nov. to Dec., 2003
“X” in Victoria, B.C. at the 50/50 Arts Collective – Dec. to Jan., 2004
“Broken Eggs” in Victoria, B.C. at a private gallery in 2005
“Recent Work” in S.S.M., Ont. at Whitespace – July 20 – Aug 2, 2007
“Ecriture” in Barrie, Ont. at Awkward Gallery – May 30 – June 27, 2009
“The Sickness” in Windsor, Ont. at Common Ground Gallery – June 23 – July 21, 2010
“Communicating the Incommunicable” in Sault Ste. Marie, Ont. at The Algoma Art Gallery – Sept. 16 – Nov. 28, 2010
“Communicating With The Mentally Ill” in Toronto, Ontario at Gallery 1313 –July 2011
“Pictures From A Sick Mind” in Red Deer, Alberta at The Harris-Warke Gallery – January 9 – February 11, 2012
“Reworking The Past” in Sault Ste. Marie, Ont. at NASA Gallery – July 28 – Aug. 11, 2012
“Paintings on film” in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario at Camera Craft Gallery – Feb.3 -March 1, 2014
“The Revolution is Now” in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario at 180 Projects – Summer 2015
“Broke and Hungry” in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario at Gallery 46 – Nov. 15 – Jan. 15, 2017
“In Mourning” online at www.inmourningx.com – Aug. 30, 2018 to Jan. 31, 2019
“Looking Forward/Back” in Timmins, Ontario at The Timmins National Museum And Exhibition Centre – March 2020
Public Art Commissions
Algoma University – 2010
Sault Ste. Marie Public Library – 2020
Reviews / Press
ArtToronto.ca – “Communicating with the Mentally Ill” – written by Phil Anderson, July 2011
Sootoday.com – “Local artists expose themselves” by Rob Majury, June 29, 2012
The Sault Star – “Films ‘packed with intensity’” by Brian Kelly, October 23, 2012
Windsor Life Magazine – “Author finds therapy in a book centered in Windsor” by Dick Hildebrand, May/June 2014
Sootoday.com – “Local artist’s work appears in multi-million dollar Hollywood film” by Jeff Klassen, June 8, 2017
Sootoday.com – “‘Gritty, blue-collar feel’ to artwork of library competition winner Christopher Shoust” by SooToday staff, Jan. 27, 2020
MyTimminsNow – “Looking Forward/Back deals with mental health treatment and restraints for patients,” by Bob McIntyre, March 9, 2020
The Timmins Daily Press – “Shedding light on a dark corner in the treatment of mental health,” by Richa Bhosale, March 9, 2020
“The Work & Play” in Victoria, B.C. at Fan Tan Studios – Nov. to Dec., 2005
“Paintings From Film” in Victoria, B.C. at the Greater Victoria Arts Council – Jan. to Feb., 2005
“60/F.6” in S.S.M., Ont. at Whitespace – Aug 10 – 16, 2007
“Prototypes” in S.S.M., Ont. at Whitespace -Nov 8 – 23, 2007
“Fresh Ink” in S.S.M., Ont. at Whitespace in February, 2009
“Ecriture” in Ottawa, Ontario at La Petite Mort – August 2009
“10” in Sault Ste. Marie, Ont. at the Algoma Art Gallery in May 2010
“The Medicine Factory” in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario at The Art Gallery of Algoma – Summer 2011
“Art In The Park Preview” in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario at The Circle Of Creative Arts – July 2011
“The Unseen Exchange” in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario at The Circle of Creative Arts – Oct 29 – Nov 30, 2011
“The Hamilton Bienalle” in Hamilton, Ontario at the hundreddollar gallery – Dec 22 – Jan 11, 2016
“Nunquam Dormio” w/ Aaron Marshall in Sault Ste. Marie, Ont. at the Bushplane Heritage Centre Artist Studios from March 24-31, 2012
“Pigs” in Victoria, B.C. at the 50/50 Arts Collective on Dec. 11, 2004
“Sensation, Sentiment, Sensibility” in Victoria, B.C. at the Carnival of Arts on Jan. 22, 2005
“Live Show” in Sault Ste. Marie, Ont. at Whitespace in September, 2009
Window Dressings / Set Design
– “1984” in Victoria, B.C. at Vortex
– “Living in a Cardboard Box” in Victoria, B.C. at Logan’s Pub in 2004
– “In the Flesh No. 9” in Victoria, B.C. at the Ministry of Casual Living in 2005
– a collaborative installation for “The Unseen Exchange” exhibition in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario at The Circle of Creative Arts
– managed Whitespace gallery in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario
– had 6 paintings featured in the Thriller/Psychological horror feature film Split (2016)
– had 2 paintings featured in Season Two of the Television Series Castle Rock (2019)
– assisted in art education at Alexander Henry High School in Sault Ste. Marie, On
– currently part of the art rental program at The Art Gallery of Sudbury
– formed a group of artists that travel around Northern Ontario on retreats to get back to nature. Formed in 2008, with Shelly Fletcher, others attend at their convenience to be inspired by nature around them. The mediums that the work translates into range from drawing, painting, sculpture and printmaking. Inspired by the Group of Seven, this group does not discriminate to only drawing or painting.
– teaches art courses for the Canadian Mental Health Association in Sault Ste. Marie, Ont. and started the Hope House School of Art
– organized monthly trade shows for artists from the Sault and area
– started a clothing line in 2004, modifying, selected, used clothing for sale
– is continually taking commissions to silkscreen clothing and art posters
– has had published 850+ articles and just as many photos for various newspapers and magazines across Canada
– printed and designed a catalogue of close to 50 students from Algoma University fine arts classes, of all grade levels and experience, funded by the student’s union in 2008
– taught literacy voluntarily for an after-school program in the summer of 2009
– designed and manufactured 2 catalogues for Michael Burtch entitled “Dasein”
– artist for the Soo Thunderbirds 2013-14 season
– published in Ecology and Action Magazine in Halifax, Nova Scotia
-started the Sault and area publication Solemn Land focusing on local art history and present happenings out of L&D’s Art Gallery and Framing
-designed the cover and created the artwork for the Dynowaves 2020 album Big Sun
– “Smogfest” 2003 and 2004 for the Citizen’s Environmental Alliance in Windsor, Ontario
– “Small Treasures” 2007, 2008 and 2011 to raise funds for the Fine Arts program at Algoma University
– submitted work for a 25th anniversary fundraiser for Common Ground Gallery in Windsor, Ontario in 2011
– “Bollywood at the Gallery” in 2011 to raise funds for the Art Gallery of Algoma
This project, proudly supported by The Ontario Arts Council, seeks to use an item from the past to talk about present and future times.
I built a 1700s Tranquilizer Chair to bring light to mental health issues and Ontario restraint policy in hospitals.
This project is ongoing and will be displayed in places in Northern Ontario and hopefully more in the future.
It was exhibited in The Timmins Museum National Exhibition Centre from March 9th, 2020 to the end of the month.
Past Project (still ongoing)
In Mourning, a title that seems so fitting for all those that have passed on and went through so much inside our mental institutions or “insane asylums” as they were called in the 1800s in Upper Canada.
Before we get to describing the work and the purpose of this work, I would like to acknowledge the generous support of the Ontario Arts Council through the Northern Arts Grant and the supply grant for the deaf and disabled, which made this possible.
There are 88 pieces in this project along with a catalogue. Descriptions of the work go like this:
I thought it prudent to start the catalogue off with a listing of names of all those “interned” as they called it back in the 1800s in the five mental institutions in Upper Canada, Malden, Toronto, Kingston, London and Hamilton Asylums. The reason for this is because I want people to remember or not lose sight of how many people among us suffer from mental illness and suffered the poor sorts of therapy that were thrust upon them at that time. These institutions were picked because all of the “inmates” have now passed on and I am not breaching the privacy of them and their families. But we are talking about mourning, so I thought, lets start with those we lost and honour their memory.
As we get to the work, 88 pieces were done. This was to symbolize the eternal spirit that we share with them and myself and how their resonance, like the 88 keys on a piano, stays with us and helps me cope personally with my own therapy, being grateful I am living in a time when there are much more proactive methods of therapy and better forms of medication or procedures which help to keep me going, instead of continually being locked up or thrown in prison as was the case in the 1800s for those suffering from mental illness.
The pieces are done on rag paper with oil paint that has been thinned with linseed oil. The process is such that the thinned out black oil paint is sucked into a syringe and squirted on the paper. This keeps with my work process as I like to keep the work simple as possible and let the simple acts involved in it to resonate to larger qualities.
What happens with these pieces is when the work starts to dry the oil bleeds across the paper like a halo around the blackness, symbolic of the spirit of these people that lives on. The linseed oil in fact ‘grows’ over years while it dries and the halo becomes much more pronounced as the viewer will see with some pieces that were done at the beginning of this exercise.
Each piece is 11”x15” and the very nature of using the syringe and doing the pieces started off and finished to be quite therapeutic for me and fun as I felt as though I was giving life back to these people. Also each piece is as individual as those people they represent.
I would like to exhibit the 88 pieces in their entirety to help others grieve and think about this vast issue that is always going to be before us, of mental illness.
Also I must point out that these works will not be sold for obvious exploitative reasons as I don’t want to exploit the grief or therapy that these pieces may possess. They may at some point be donated in their entirety to some public place that seems suitable.
The massive list of names and information was found with the help of the Ontario and Upper Canada Genealogy and History organization.
Victoria to Vancouver (2012), Super-8, approx. 4 mins. (IMDB Title)
Skate Renegade (2013), Super-8, approx. 5 mins.
Vortex: a silkscreening documentary (2013), Super-8, approx. 4 mins.
America Dreamt (2014), Super-8, approx 7 mins. (IMDB Title)
Nude Pretending a Bear’s Safe (2015), Super-8, approx 12 mins. (IMDB Title)
A Tear In The Fabric Of Time (2015), Super-8, approx. 10 mins.
Darkness: A Documentary (2016), Video, approx. 56 mins.
Light (2017), Video, approx. 30 mins.
212 (2017), Video, approx. 12 mins.