About Look & Learn

Welcome to the part of the William Kurelek website designed specifically for students and teachers. Discover the story behind Kurelek’s famous series of paintings The Ukrainian Pioneer. You’ll also be able to answer questions and do activities.

This site is designed around a series of questions and activities that relate to a particular series of paintings by William Kurelek (1927–1977). Titled The Ukrainian Pioneer, this six-paneled work of art was painted by the artist in 1971, reworked in 1976, and is owned by the National Gallery of Canada in Ottawa. It represents the artist’s personal account of the establishment of Ukrainian farming communities on the Canadian Prairies between the late 1800s and the late 1930s. Kurelek’s representation of history is a personal one; it recounts events that his maternal grandparents and both of his parents experienced. At the same time, The Ukrainian Pioneer also explores themes and issues that are central to the story of multicultural Canada as a whole.

Here teachers will discover the means for creating stimulating and dynamic learning opportunities for their students with activities that appropriately align with key concepts and goals of social studies and visual art curricula nationwide.

Click the first of the images on the previous page to get started.