Shawn is an Associate Professor in the Visual Arts department, Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts at Brock University. Although initially drawn to an academic career in the environmental sciences, he pursued Fine Arts and Art History degrees in Saskatchewan as well as a Master of Fine Arts degree in Alberta. He has taught for the University of Alberta and the University of British Columbia. His research interests include contemporary painting, drawing and printmaking practices concerning relational abstraction, environmental aesthetics, religion, the landscape as well as issues bordering abstraction and representation.
He was born in Prince Albert, Saskatchewan and grew up exploring the northern reaches of his home province’s lakes and river systems. Prince Albert, often called the gateway to the north, is located in the broad valley of the North Saskatchewan River near the geographical center of the province where the agricultural prairie of the south meets the rich forest belt of the north. It is close to the famous Emma Lake artist’s school where many influential artists have lived and worked.