Bob Boyer, R.C.A. (1948-2004)

Bob Boyer, The Mountains the Night and the 49, 84 x 120, oil and beeswax over acrylic on canvas

Bob Boyer - His Life's Work

Bob Boyer (1948-2004) was a man of the world artist, curator, historian and educator, his influence and passion for art was far-reaching and touched many. Although he lived his entire life in Saskatchewan, he was a world traveller, enthusiastically following an architectural lead all the way to Northern Europe or enjoying the happy, joyful rambling of the Arizona powwow trail. He began his career as a landscape painter but quickly moved to abstract compositions of vivid colour, influenced by the Regina Five and the work of popular ceramists of the late 60s and early 70s. Upon graduating from the University of Regina with a Bachelor of Education in 1971, Boyer moved to Hoey, Saskatchewan, teaching art and drama for the Prince Albert Separate School Board for two years. He continued to paint and draw in the evenings and in the mid 1970s proved himself to be quite the curator with the debut of 100 Years of Saskatchewan Indian Art (1870-1930) at the Norman Mackenzie Gallery. Boyers recognition of the stylistic differences between Cree, Assiniboine, Sioux, Blackfoot and Saulteaux objects as works of art would later inform his use of traditional Northern Plains imagery in his geometric abstract paintings.

His extensive travels as a teacher to remote Northern Saskatchewan communities exposed him to different approaches in materials and landscapes which would also become central to his formation as an artist. Boyers understanding of the design, philosophy and spiritual meanings of Aboriginal art increased enormously when he joined Saskatchewan Indian Federated College as a program consultant in 1978, eventually becoming Department Head in 1980. Research into historical Indigenous arts throughout the world, ongoing conversations with Elders, and participation in powwows and ceremonies, would continue to inspire Boyers artistic direction throughout his lifetime. In the 1980s Boyer proved to be quite the firebrand, experimenting with Aboriginal iconography in acrylic on blanket and producing sobering, political charged works that alluded to the devastating effect of colonialists on Native communities. By the mid-1990s, Boyers work had become looser and more introspective, filled with whimsical images such as as birds, fish, people, angels and other figurative elements, revealing a fusion of spiritual philosophies and symbolism learned from Indigenous peoples throughout the world. A career that took Boyer from the northernmost reaches of Saskatchewan to a remote and isolated mosque in the Gobi Desert produced an artist of great generosity, empathy and power both an educator and a lifelong learner happiest when sharing the breadth of his experience and work with others.

Join us in commemorating Bob Boyers inspiring life in a new retrospective currently on view at the Museum of Civilization. Bob Boyer His Lifes Work, curated by our great friend Lee-Ann Martin, continues until November 4, 2012.

Visit the McKenzie Art Gallery's site here.
Or tour Museum of Civilization website here.

Daphne OdjigDaphne Odjig, Canadian Indigenous Artist and Icon Dies at 97. Click here for more details.

Odjig is frequently referred to as the "Grandmother of Indigenous Art." She has been the recipient of many awards, honours and recognitions for her works, to name a few: The Order of Canada, the Governor General's Award, and eight Honorary Doctorates. Her works have been shown in the National Gallery of Canada, The McMichael Canadian Art Collection, the Canadian Museum of Civilization and the Art Gallery of Ontario.


She established the first native-run fine art print house in Winnipeg, Manitoba in 1971. Known as 'Odjig Indian Prints,' this print house was so successful that it evolved into an Indigenous gallery space in 1974, called the New Warehouse Gallery, run by Odjig and her husband, Chester Beavon. She was also a founding member of the Indian Group of Seven. This artistic group's purpose was to promote Contemporary Indigenous art and artists.

Alex JanvierAlex Janvier's major retrospective, "Alex Janvier: Modern Indigenous Master" was recently on display at the National Gallery of Canada in Ottawa. Alex Janvier is one of Canada's most acclaimed contemporary Indigenous artists. His career of sixty-five years has yielded thousands of paintings, and more than twenty-five murals and public commissions.

This exhibition has now travelled to the MacKenzie Art Gallery in Regina, Saskatchewan until September 10th. The retrospective will end off at the McMichael Canadian Art Collection in Toronto. No official dates have been announced as of yet. (Photo credit: Kim Griffiths)

Rita LetendreGallery Gevik congratulates renowned Canadian and International abstract painter, Rita Letendre, on her first major museum retrospective exhibition outside of Québec. Rita Letendre: Fire and Light is now open until September 17, 2017 at the Art Gallery of Ontario.

This exhibition, which covers Letendre's career from the 1960's to 2000's, is co-curated by Wanda Nanibush and Georgiana Uhlyarik. The retrospective features nearly forty large-scale paintings drawn from major national public and private collections.

Letendre was widely exhibited with the artistic groups, Les Automatistes and Les Plasticiens. She has received the Governor General's Award in Visual Arts, the Prix Paul-Émile Borduas, and the Orders of Canada, Ontario and Québec. Click here for more details.