Jack Wise was born in 1928 in Centerville, Iowa. He completed a BFA at the Washington University and a Master of Science in Art from Florida State University. He immigrated to Canada in 1963 and soon had a Canada Council Senior Fellowship that allowed him to travel and study in India and Tibet. He was elected to the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts in 1974.
Jack Wise made many contributions to the arts during his life - creating and showing his own work, exchanging ideas with colleagues, setting up arts education programmes and widening people's understanding of both contemporary art and ancient traditions. Wise was known primarily for his calligraphy, based upon Chinese brushwork, and for his mandalas - colourful, circular forms which embody Buddhist cosmology or world view. Wise died in 1996.