Born in Chicago and educated in California, Deborah Koenker immigrated to Canada as a young adult and is now Vancouver-based. Koenker’s early training in print media and drawing resulted in a BA from the University of California Santa Barbara, followed by post-graduate studies at Central St. Martins, London, England and an MFA from Claremont Graduate School, Claremont, California. She was instrumental in establishing Malaspina Printmakers Workshop in Vancouver and served as its first Director. She taught as Associate Professor in the Faculty of Visual Art and Material Practice at Emily Carr University of Art and Design in Vancouver.
Koenker’s work has been exhibited widely in Canada, the US, Mexico and Spain including solo exhibitions at the Galeria Manuel Felguerez, Universidad Autonoma Metropolitana, Mexico City, the Ayuntamiento de Gracia, Barcelona, Spain, Chapman College, Orange and Rio Hondo College, Los Angeles; in Toronto at the University of Toronto and A Space Gallery; in Vancouver at the Contemporary Art Gallery, the Richmond, Surrey and Burnaby Art Galleries, the Vancouver Art Gallery, OR gallery and Presentation House. Grapes and Tortillas, her most recent solo exhibition, was shown at the Kelowna Art Gallery in Kelowna, BC and at the Workers Art and Heritage Centre, Hamilton, ON. She has completed numerous artist residencies including at the Canada Council Paris Studio International Residency, The Klondike Institute of Art and Culture, Dawson City, Yukon, The Banff Centre, Alberta, Jiwar AIR, Barcelona, Spain and Linea de Costa, Cadiz, Spain. The most recent is a thematic artist residency on Equal Justice at the Santa Fe Art Institute, New Mexico in 2018. She has been the recipient of numerous grants from the Canada Council for the Arts, and her work is held in more than 30 public and private collections.