Prof. Phil Irish

Associate Professor of Art

Phone: (905) 648-2139   Ext:4497


Office: 241C

Programs: Art


M.F.A. (2012), Visual Art, York University, Toronto, ON.
Thesis: Makeshift

B.A. (1995), University of Guelph, Guelph, ON.


  • Introduction to Studio: Drawing (ART-112)
  • Introduction to Studio: Painting (ART-115)
  • Figure Drawing (ART-212)
  • Oil Painting (ART-215)
  • Concepts, Materials, and Experiments (ART-216)
  • Advanced Studio (ART-313)
  • Faith and Art (ART-352)
  • Directed Studio & Exhibition (ART-380)


Being an artist has become, for Phil Irish, a way of exploring the world, stimulating imagination, and of sparking deep exchange with others. Irish attained an MFA at York University and a BA in Fine Art and English Literature from the University of Guelph. He has exhibited his artwork in public museums, commercial galleries, and artist run centres across Canada. His contribution to the Francophonie International Painting Competition was exhibited at the National Gallery of Canada, and his work was twice shortlisted by the Kingston Prize for Canadian Portraiture.  As landscape figures prominently in his work, his research has taken him to the Rockies, the oil sands, and most recently a week on an icebreaker in the Canadian arctic.

Research Interests

  • Contemporary painting, collage, and installation art
  • Iconoclasm in modernist avant gardes
  • Dialogue between faith and art
  • Art and Environmentalism
  • Neo-Baroque, and imagery of ornament and excess

Selected Exhibitions

subMerge, Lonsdale Gallery, Toronto ON (2019)*
Mount Pile, Art Gallery of Guelph, Guelph ON (2017)*
Precipice, B Contemporary, Hamilton ON (2015)*Trashing Mountains, Durham Art Gallery, Durham ON (2015)*
Ascent, Gladstone Hotel, Toronto ON (2015)*
The Kingston Prize for Canadian Portraiture (2013)
Makeshift, Cambridge Galleries, Cambridge ON (2012)*
Indiscretions: Narrative Painting Now, Grenfell Art Gallery, Memorial University, St. John’s NL (2012)
Watershed, Kitchener Waterloo Art Gallery, Kitchener ON (2009)*
I’ll Meet You There. Manifestation International d’Art de Québec 4, Quebec City QU (2008)
Paths We Have Taken, Robert Langen Gallery, Wilfred Laurier University, Waterloo ON (2006)*
Whereabouts, web-project for Oakville Galleries, Oakville, ON (2005)*
(* indicates solo)

Professional Memberships and Associations

Christians in the Visual Arts

Canadian Artists Representation Ontario

Community Involvement

Member of Elora United Church, Elora, Ontario

Relevant Links

Artist Website
Artist Tumblr
Artist Instagram
Artist Facebook

Related Experience

  • Curator, Elora Centre for the Arts, January 2004-2012
  • Artist Representative for Gamblin Artist Colours
  • Associate Minister in the United Church of Canada
  • Art reviews published by Canadian Art Magazine