My name is Isabel Porto; I am a new Canadian originally from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and I have been living in Calgary since 2011. I received a Master in Fine Arts (MFA) from the University of Calgary in 2014. My thesis, Perceptual Drawing: A Perspective of Experience, allowed me to intensify my study of perceptual experience in relation to the everyday environment. Being born and raised in Rio de Janeiro, and then living in different cities and countries, has turned me into a constant newcomer, always experiencing new places through multiple sensorial experiences. My art projects have taken the form of drawing, photography, and participatory events that enable viewers and myself to take an active role in perceiving our surroundings in a new and more engaged way. In today’s world, there are so many visual distractions that prevent us from seeing moments of ephemeral beauty. I believe an artist can reveal overlooked fleeting images in our everyday environment. My eyes are always alert for small events, such as the way the sunset reflects off a building, transforming concrete into gold, or the way cranes shapes our surroundings by making our cities grow and change imperceptibly. My art practice has underscored the need to be ‘present’ and responsive to experiences in our urban environment. A true connection to what we see and an awareness of our body allows a deeper exploration and understanding of our world.

You can contact Isabel at



2014 – Graduate Degree Master of Fine Arts, Department of Art University of Calgary, Calgary, Canada

2005 – Degree in Art Education from the Faculdade de Artes do Paraná, Curitiba, Brazil

Art Exhibitions and Public Art Projects

(Invite) Porto, Isabel. Community Art Project. Perceptual Drawing at the Leighton Art Centre during the Alberta Culture Days, October 1st and 2nd , 2016.

(R) Porto, Isabel. Community-based public art project with the City of Calgary in partnership with the Sheldon M. Chumir Health Centre through the Artists Working in Community public art professional development course. Fifteen images resulting from the outdoor drawing event Walking Window. Sheldon M. Chumir Centre’s window facing 12 Ave SW, Calgary, July to December, 2016.

(R) Porto, Isabel. Two Untitled Photographs, Constructions Sites Shaganappi Station. Headlines Exhibition through the Alberta Society of Arts. Northern Jubilee Auditorium, Edmonton, January 15th to February 26th and Southern Jubilee Auditorium, Calgary April 15th – May 30th, 2016.

(R) Porto, Isabel. Perceptual Drawing. MFA Exhibition, Nickle Galleries, University of Calgary, Perceptual Drawing was a site specific work at the +15 between Taylor Family Digital Library and MacKimmie Library, University of Calgary, August 8th to September 30th, 2014.

(R) Porto, Isabel. Collaborative Drawing. ADGSA symposium and exhibition “Performative Ecologies: Thinking Through Research Practices,” Drawing Interventions at the Pedway between Fine Arts Building and HUB International, University of Alberta, March 20th to 22nd; The exhibition remained until April 4th at the dc3 Art Projects. Edmonton, Canada, 2014.

(R) Porto, Isabel. Circulando. St[art] Residency Program by Calgary Allied Arts Foundation, April to June at Art Central. Calgary, Canada, 2012.

(R) Porto, Isabel. Three untitled C-Print. 5a. Bienal VentoSul, Museu de Arte Contemporanea do Paraná, MAC. Curitiba, Brazil, 2009.

(R) Porto, Isabel. Convite ao Largo da Ordem. Memorial de Curitiba. Curitiba, Brazil, 2008.

(R) Porto, Isabel. NW 41st Street Série. SESC da Esquina. Curitiba, Brazil, 2007.

(R) Porto, Isabel. A Marca. (The Brand) Exhibition for the winners of the Heineken Art Contest “Heineken, Novos Talentos da Pintura” (Heineken, New Painting Talents) at the Museu da Republica do Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, 1999. The art piece is now part of the Heineken Museum collection in Amsterdam, Netherlands.

Grants and Scholarships

2014 – Graduate Scholarship from Faculty of Graduate Studies, University of Calgary

2013 – SSHRC, Joseph-Armand Bombardier (CGS)

2013 – Graduate Scholarship from Faculty of Graduate Studies, University of Calgary

2012 – Queen Elizabeth II Scholarship

2008 – Bolsa Produção 02 – Felllowship by the City of Curitiba and the Art Foundation of Curitiba, Brazil

Professional and Academic Contributions

(Public Art Selection Panel) Porto, Isabel. After the completion of Artists Working in Community course, a final project proposal was presented for the Sheldon M. Chumir in partnership with the City of Calgary during the Public Art 101 series. Gallery Hall, Taylor Family Library University of Calgary, April 30th, 2016.

(Invited talk) Porto Isabel. Perceptual Drawing: A Perspective of Experience. Graduate Student Research Panel as part of the School of Creative and Performing Art’s (SCPA) inaugural speaker series, which is being organized by the SCPA’s Inter-Arts Research Committee. University of Calgary, Canada. The panel was held on Monday, 16 March 2015.

(Invited Talk) Porto, Isabel; Minoofar, Setareh; Downey, William. Nickle at Noon series – MFA Exhibition. Nickle Galleries, University of Calgary, Calgary, Canada. September 18th, 2014.

(Invited Talk) Porto, Isabel; Auffret, Kacie; Sun, prOphecy; Motutfirth, Monique; Sipppy, Grace. Artist’s Panel and Question and Answers for the ADGSA exhibition “Performative Ecologies: Thinking Through Research Practices,” at dc3 Art Projects Gallery. Edmonton, Canada. March 22nd, 2014.

(Public Presentation) Porto, Isabel. MFA Student Public Presentation. AB 672, Art Department, University of Calgary, Canada. November, 20th 2013.

(Public Presentation) Porto, Isabel. MFA Student Public Presentation. AB 672, Art Department, University of Calgary. November 21st, 2012.

(Public Presentation) Porto, Isabel. Convite ao Largo da Ordem. Solar do Barão, Curitiba, Brazil. June 13th, 2008.

Press and Publications

Porto, Isabel. Perceptual Drawing. Edit. Canadian Art, Smart Guide. The Changing School: A Guide to Canadian Art Schools Thinking Outside the Box. Canadian Art. Winter 2015. 49 and 74p.

Porto, Isabel. Perceptual Drawing. Maerten, Aurelie. Skywalk Drawings Offer a Window on New Way to See Art. Last Modified, November 2014:

Flórez, Fernando C. Isabel Porto. Edit. Escobar, Ticio; Amarante, Leonor. 5a. Bienal Vento Sul. (Curitiba: Instituto Paranaense de Artes, 2010) 276 and 277p.

Porto, Isabel. Convite ao Largo da Ordem. Edit. Fundação Cultural de Curitiba. Bolsa Produção para Artes Visuais 02 (Curitiba: Fundação Cultural de Curitiba, 2008) 68 to 71, 127 and 136 p.

Porto, Isabel. Illustrations for the folder and catalogue of the 3o. Simpósio Brasileiro em HLA e Doenças (3rd Brazilian Symposium on Histocompatibility and Deseases). State University of Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, 2008.

Sessional Instructor at the Department of Art, University of Calgary

2016 Summer term, Sessional Instructor for the Perspectives in Plein Air course, Department of Art, University of Calgary.

Other positions at the Department of Art, University of Calgary

2015 Substitute teaching for ART 311.03 course on September 23rd and 30th.

2014 Gallery Coordinator of the Little Gallery and Gallery 621 from September 2013 to August.

2014 Visiting Artists coordinator from January to March.


2016 Assisting Art Classes at Wildflowers Art Centre, January to May.

2015 Assisting Art Classes at Wildflowers Art Centre, September to December.

2015 Assisting Artist in Residence Chester Lees at Dalhousie School, October to November.

Teacher Assistant Positions at the Department of Art, University of Calgary

2014 Fall term, Teacher Assistant for instructor Kaarina-Nancy Bauer, Prehistory to later Middle Ages.

2014 Winter term, Teacher Assistant for instructor Paul Woodrow, Topics in Art, Technology and Media.

2013 Fall term, Teacher Assistant for instructor Craig Fahner, Topics in Art: Survey of New Media.

2013 Winter term, Teacher Assistant for instructor Clyde Mc Connell, Film Photography.

2013 Winter Term, Teacher Assistant for instructor Peter Deacon, Painting II.

Extended Studies and Professional Courses

(R) 2016 Artists Working in Community course offered by the City of Calgary Public Art Program and led by Dawn Ford, Feb 24th to April 30th.

2012 Digital Photography Course with William Yee at Alberta College of Art + Design, ACAD, Calgary, Canada.

2010 “Art: Reflection and Attitude” with Anna Bella Geiger and Fernando Cocchiarale at the Parque Lage Visual Arts School, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

2010 “The Problem of Space in the Contemporary Art” with Leila Danzinger and Luiz Cláudio da Costa at The Graduate Program in Arts at the State University of Rio de Janeiro (UERJ), Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

2006 “The Art History of Paraná” with Rosemeire Odahara Graça at Alfredo Andersen Museum, Curitiba, Brazil.

1999 Drawing course with Malu Fatorelli at The cultural Centre of the State University of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

1997 Drawing classes with Diô Viana in private atelier of Isabel Oswald, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.