Painting the Picture of a Seneca Alum
Growing up in Toronto, Ontario, Kenneth M Kirsch always had a special talent, eye, and general feel for creating art. It was something that was instilled in him at a young age.
Featured on his website is a report card with a note from his grade six teacher, stating “I hope that Ken will find many opportunities in the future to develop his outstanding artistic ability. He is exceptionally gifted in this area”.
Ken was enrolled in Design Arts in the late 70’s, it is now called the Graphic Design program. He went on to a successful career in graphic design and advertising with institutions such as, The T. Eaton Company (Eaton’s), The Toronto Transit Commission (TTC), and Gray Coach Lines Ltd.
Ken also partnered with Seneca alumna, Pauline Buchman, then owner of Pinpoint Design Studios to form an industry leader in Toronto. After a merger and acquisition with a large international advertising agency, Ken was able to focus his efforts on the work he truly loved. He had reached the pinnacle of his graphic design career and was ready to pursue his craft as a landscape artist.
He is the now the owner of a studio in Thornhill, Ontario, and has taken part in approximately 40 exhibitions and art events since 1980. His work is featured and sold in numerous fine art galleries and exhibited across Canada and worldwide.
Some of Ken’s highlights include several top 10 artist votes from 2009 to 2011 at The McMichael Canadian Gallery in Kleinberg, Ontario – a gallery known for showcasing great Canadian art and artists. He was also featured in a television interview at The McMichael with award winning show York Region Living, speaking about his work and passion.
In 2010, he presented Toronto Mayor David Miller with his “Toronto Trillium” painting to commemorate the 100th anniversary of this historic Toronto Island Steamship Ferry.
One of Ken’s greatest personal and artistic highlights came during his time at Seneca in 1977 when Chum FM Radio announced that Mick Jagger and the Rolling Stones would be performing a private show at a secret location in Toronto. Ken won tickets to the show by submitting a portrait of Mick Jagger he did at school. The art piece received high praise from his classmates and professors.
Ken has seen the artistic world and technology change from the days of cutting and pasting black and white photos in dark rooms, to where art can now be created through the click of a mouse and social media can help grow his audience internationally.
“It’s amazing that today something I paint can be ordered from anywhere in the world and turned in to a greeting card, a phone case, or a canvas that looks just like the original,” said Ken. “I have adapted with the modern times but my landscape paintings remain timeless.”
Ken is a prime example of the type of world-class talent that has attended Seneca College and developed their skills to become a leader in their field.