Born in Glasgow, Scotland, 1938, of Lithuanian descent, Roland Poska received early education in Glasgow, Scotland; London, England; Montreal, Canada; and, Rockford,
Illinois. His degrees came from Rockford College, BA 1961; and, Cranbrook Academy Of Art, MFA 1962. He taught at Rockford College from 1963-64; served as head of Printmaking at Layton School Of Art in Milwaukee from 1965 to its close in 1974; co-founded a new art school currently called Milwaukee Institute Of Art And Design, where he set up the printmaking department and taught there 1974-76.
Poska began to create Fishy Whale in 1961 by acquiring lithography stones, then the printmaking equipment, and the paper mill and it was in full bloom operation by 1965. He pioneered the medium of handmade paper with huge pulp and pigment paintings called papestries. His show at the Milwaukee Museum Of Art, July 4th, 1976 was the first major paper painting exhibition in the United States. The studio attracted artists from around the country, and he began publishing some of them: Emil Weddige; Sandra Hall; Ron Ruble; John Doyle; John Bissell; and many others. His current goal is to insure that future artists can continue to explore the possibilities of Fishy Whale by having it become part of the Milwaukee Institute Of Art And Design experience.