Biography: Having fused classical Chinese and postmodernist Western aesthetics in ink, watercolour, and woven paper installations, Amy Loewan has achieved numerous awards and international acclaim that magnify her goal: peace, harmony, and understanding via art.
Born in Hong Kong in 1945, Amy Loewan (originally Luk-Loewan) immigrated at age 19 to the U.S. After receiving a B.Sc. in Occupational Therapy at the University of Illinois in 1970, Loewan created art that joined group exhibitions in Melbourne, Australia (1976 – 1977).
After moving to Edmonton in 1978 to continue occupational therapy, Loewan began twelve years’ work as an art therapist (and in 1986 coordinated Alberta’s first Art Therapy Conference). By 1981 she began joining scores of group showings across Western Canada, Ontario, and in New York, Shanghai, and Hong Kong.
It was not until 1988’s inclusion in Edmonton’s The Works: A Visual Arts Celebration that Loewan achieved the first of dozens of solo exhibitions across Canada. After earning her BFA with Distinction (1992) and MFA in painting (1995) at the University of Alberta, she represented Alberta at the National Forum on Culture and Diversity at the Museum of Civilisation in Ottawa, and as Edmonton Arts Council’s visual arts representative in South Korea.
Loewan’s greatest acclaim arises from her multimedia installation A Peace Project (2001) which toured Canada. In 2004, the Shanghai Doland Modern Art Museum and the Hong Kong Visual Arts Centre exhibited A Peace Project, certified in 2010 as a Cultural Property of Canada. Composed of woven rice paper mandalas, the 2.4 metre-tall installation featured woven strips of text in 30 languages, from Arabic to Zulu, with eight words exalting the best in humanity: compassion, kindness, respect, understanding, patience, tolerance, gentleness and forgiveness.
Loewan has won a range of civic, national, and international honours including the Canadian Artists and Producers Professional Relations Tribunal’s Award for Excellence in the Arts (1998) for works honouring the United Nations’ Universal Declaration of Human Rights.