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Phyllis Serota

Phyllis Serota was born in Chicago. As a child she attended classes at the Art Institute in that city. She later went to the University of Victoria and graduated with a BFA in 1979. Since 1977, Serota has exhibited extensively throughout western Canada and the United States.



Important exhibitions include the Family Series, which was shown at the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria and travelled to Vancouver and Edmonton; Rope Climbers which was first shown at Open Space gallery in Victoria and later travelled to Washington and Oregon; and her Holocaust series Order and Chaos, which was mounted at the AGGV and the Vancouver Holocaust Education Centre. Serota’s work is held in many collections including the Canadian Museum of Civilization, the Province of British Columbia, the University of Victoria, the City of Victoria, and the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria.

Phyllis Serota currently lives and works in Victoria, British Columbia.

Titles by the Author

Painting My Life: A Memoir of Love, Art, and Transformation

Serota's memoir illuminates the moments in her life that she has so often captured in her artwork: the Chicago neighbourhood of her childhood, the violence that coloured her family life, and the shadow of the Holocaust in which she grew up. She describes escalating police brutality in 1960s America, the drug-saturated swinging lifestyle of British Columbia's west coast in the 1970s, her doomed marriage, her discovery of love with the woman who would become her partner for life, and her development as an internationally acclaimed artist.

Stunning full- colour reproductions of her paintings, created over decades of work as a professional artist, illustrate the text. Luminous and heartbreaking, joyous and disturbing, dreamlike or brutally realistic, each painting reflects in some way the artist's ongoing quest to explore both personal and collective memory and to understand her place in the world. With the same startling clarity and intimacy so typical of her paintings, Serota offers both a glimpse into the mysterious process by which an artists creates and a tender celebration of love and beauty.

With 104 colour reproductions from Serota's extensive portfolio, 64 family photographs, and an in-depth interview with Phyllis by art historian Dr. Elizabeth Tumasonis, Painting My Life: a Memoir of Love, Art and Transformation is both a gift to art lovers and a page-turning insight into the place where art and life meet.

Watch a video of Phyllis Serota speaking about one of her paintings.

Download a pdf with additional information about Painting My Life.

Download high resolution images.

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240 pp • 8.5 X 9 • 168 photos
ISBN 13: 978-1-55039-188-6; 1-55039-188-7
paper • 28.95

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