John Waite grew up in the Kootenays, an incessant sketcher and cartoonist. He later enrolled in the University of British Columbia Faculty of Education which had an acclaimed and ground breaking faculty in Visual Arts. While there he studied drawing with Sam Black, painting with Gordon Smith and printmaking with Bob Steele. Gordon Smith, surely Vancouver’s most well known painter now in his mid-nineties, still paints vibrantly and exhibits actively. Bob Steele, also in his nineties, is working vigorously on new balanced curriculum. Bob’s influence was most influential on this naive student from BC’s interior; he required an authentic and honest visual statement. It took 3 years for John to find that statement.
After graduating in 1967, he taught Art in New Westminster and Coquitlam before moving to Vernon in 1973. He was a founding member of the now defunct Deer Lake Printmakers, a precursor to the Malaspina Printmakers. He exhibited in a two man show in Vancouver in 1968.
During his years of teaching, John found time for his own Art work only with watercolours and periods of productivity were remote from one another but resulted in a one man show in the Topham Brown Public Gallery in 1988. For several years during the 80’s John organized the Ice Sculpture for the Vernon Winter Carnival and in 1990 was invited to compete in the Quebec Winter Carnival Snow Sculpture Competition. That experience prompted him to organize the BC Snow Sculpture Competition at Silver Star in 1991, an event that has grown considerably since.
John’s work centers upon his life on the Commonage. That outdoor life and farming are the experience of the beauty and the Art work is the expression. The subjects he finds are intimate insights into those experiences,often momentary and transient.
His work has been exhibited in Vancouver, Vernon and Calgary. Most recently work has been recently exhibited with the Barn Gallery, Lake Country Art Walk and each year his studio is open to the public during the Carr's Landing Art Tour.