Edward Falkenberg grew up in Edmonton, Alberta. His father, a renowned denturist and ceramist, had a basement full of tools and woodworking equipment. This provided a creative place for Edward to develop his skills. After completing high school, Edward worked in the engineering office of a heating, ventilating and air conditioning company for a year. Upon the company's suggestion he took a mechanical drafting course at the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology and Art. Edward excelled in his classes and showed a flare for drafting and design. After graduating he took a job in a wholesale plumbing and heating supply company designing hot water heating systems. Anxious to be more creative and keen to work with his hands he moved to Toronto and enrolled at the Ontario College of Art. In 1965 he graduated with honors in Industrial Design.
In that same year he opened his own business called "Design house" and began designing trade show booths. This led to the design of several kitchens with innovative touches as well as office and residential furniture. Two of Edwards designs, a side frame chair and a coffee table were showcased at the EDEE awards in 1967.
In 1966, Edward completed his first sculpture commission, a 42 foot long and 4 foot wide cherry wood relief wall mural at Cadillac Development Corporation's prestigious Bretton Place Apartments in Toronto. This was the first of a great many public space commissions.
In 1968, Edward and his wife Laura purchased land just outside of Toronto in rural Claremont, Ontario. Here they completely rebuilt and transformed their home into an artistic masterpiece.
In 1979, Edward had his first of three solo shows at the Madison Gallery in Toronto. For these shows Edward produced a series of small stainless steel constructivist works titled the Horizon Series. These works were inspired by two instances. The first was at a demonstration given to his son's grade two class and the other at a lecture at the Robert Mclaughlin Gallery in Oshawa, Ontario. The grade two class demo was pure inspiration. At the Mclaughlin he was speaking about spatial concepts "..this room you are in is a defined positive space, through that archway to your left is another larger positive space with the archway as a device to interconnect the two spaces. That archway could possibly be used as a sculptural device or as a sculpture in its own right". With this thought in mind a series of "framing" works evolved into the Horizon pieces.
In 1980 the Horizon Series, now consisting of 25 pieces, travelled to the Robert McLaughlin Gallery in Oshawa and to the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia in Halifax. Jim Purdy, Art reviewer for The Globe and Mail, wrote, "The works, called, appropriately, Horizon Series, are enclosures of heat-treated steel. They entrap space as a window holds a view. There are long distances, prairie vistas, to be found in the apertures but they are accessible to the mind alone. The pieces are small, no more than 20 inches high, but the scale and balance give many of them the presence of much larger architectural works.... Falkenberg's handling of steel is as graceful and persuasive as his handling of wood."
In 1984 Triad was commissioned for the Canadian Embassy in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
By 1989 Edward had built a new studio building,had turned the lower level of his house into an art gallery, had been featured in a Rogers Television series "Artists and their Work", and had secured multiple corporate commissions.
In 1994 Edward diverted his attention from large scale commissioned pieces and developed a work that could be likened to a" treehouse". This idea developed into a series of works called Paradise Revisited all based on the concept of a treehouse. In the original grouping ( this is an open ended series) there are six pieces: Camelot, Zenith, Sandbox, Ladder, Cirrus and Zen.
In 1999 he produced Dreamscape, a 17' stainless steel treehouse work based on the Paradise Revisited series, as a result of winning a competition for the Pickering Town Centre, a major shopping mall, in Pickering, Ontario.
In 2000 the Paradise Revisited series took on the role of a prestigious annual award presented by the Rouge Valley Health System to an outstanding supporter of the Ajax-Pickering Hospital. Each Howard Sokolowsky Award recipient receives an original treehouse sculpture.
In 2001, Edward Falkenberg and John Sabean (Pickering Historical Society) started a citizens working group called The Durham West Arts Centre (DWAC) with the goal of establishing a self-sustaining public art centre in West Durham. The centre opened in 2004 and has been operating with support from local governments. This has been an ambitious project requiring much political lobbying and fundraising but has proven to be rewarding and encouraging thus far.
In 2003, Edward was one of only two Canadian sculptors chosen to show work at the first Chinese Biennale in Beijing China. Gift horse, is a 8' 8" high wooden construction of a horse mounted on wagon, it is reminiscent of the famous Trojan Horse but with a 180 degree difference. It is based on love not war.
In 2004, Connect, a 16' stainless steel ring, was installed at the University of Ontario Institute of Technology in Oshawa.
Edward continues to work in his Claremont studio.
Click here to see an interview with Edward Falkenberg and his daughter Karen discuss their work on thatchannel.com