The Serpent River First Nation Art Gallery has one of the largest collections in Northern Ontario with many different styles of art from Native, Woodland Art, Chinese Art, Abstract, and much, much more.
We invite everyone to come in and see our beautiful collection. Our Art Coordinator will be happy to tell you anything you need to know about the art in the gallery.
Here are a few of our featured artists:
Carl Beam was born in M'Chigeeng (West Bay) on Manitoulin Island. Of Ojibway heritage, the artist has exerted a strong influence on a whole generation of Aboriginal artists and has been instrumental in the development of the art of Canada's First Nations. He has a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of Victoria and also did postgraduate work at the University of Alberta. His work, executed in diverse media such as drawing, watercolour, etching, non-silver photography, photo transfer, installation and ceramics, has been exhibited throughout North America as well as in Italy, Denmark, Germany and China. It is found in major Canadian and international collections including the National Gallery of Canada, the Art Gallery of Ontario, the Vancouver Art Gallery and the Albright-Knox Gallery in Buffalo, N.Y. In 2000, Carl Beam was inducted into the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts and, fiveyears later, received a Governor General's Award in Visual and Media Arts. Until his death in the summer of 2005, he lived in M'Chigeeng.
Source: National Gallery of Canada - Musée des Beaux-Arts du Canada
Peter Banks was born in Birmingham, England on September 25, 1938. He attended Bournemouth College of Art from 1956 to 1960. After Working in London and Southern England, he immigrated to Canada in 1974. He lives and works in Toronto, Canada.
Born in Yerevan, Armenia in 1955, Deherian is a graduate of Yerevan's Panos Terlemezian High School of Fine Arts in the Oil Painting Division. Following graduation he worked as an artist, sculptor and restorer of antiques.
In 1983, Deherian was admitted to Yerevan's Academy of Arts, Sculpture and Design and graduated from the Academy in 1988. He, thereafter, migrated to Canada and settled in Toronto.
In 1994 Serge was commissioned by Deco Art to decorate the stage for fashion show and theatre on the occasion of "Carnevalle di Venezia" in Dubai, U.A.E. While in Dubai he managed to create 14 (4 x 8 feeet) oil paintings with Venetian sceneries in four days. Italian and local diginitaries were also present.
In 1995 Serge was commissioned to create works of art for Italian and Australian galleries. Serge has had various exhibitions in Yerevan, Moscow, Leningrad, Dubai, Porticcio, Australia, Italy, and Toronto. His artistic work can can be found in private and public collections in Moscow, Yerevan, Leningrad, Paris, Belgium, Germany, Dubai, Australia, U.S.A., Italy, and Toronto.
Mark Anthony Jacobson
A self-taught artist, Mark Anthony Jacobson was born in Sioux Lookout, Ontario, Canada. He first started painting at thirteen years of age, exploring his Ojibwa heritage. Drawing traditional symbolism within the subject matter of his paintings, he adhered to the woodlands style. Inspired by spiritual dialogue with Mother Nature, Mark says his greatest inspiration is how the creator manifests throughout all of creation. "It is this language of the spirit that I try to communicate in the images I create, our relationships with the animals, with the birds, with the fish and all of humanity. It is the experience of my ancestors that have inspired the stories and legends of the Ojibwa people."Mark has been painting professionally for nineteen years. He enjoys the celebration of his culture through the vision of his art. Mark's art is vibrant and alive. He often mixes his own colors to achieve unique blends.
Brian Marion was born in Kamsack, Saskatchewan in 1960. He grew up among the Saulteaux and Cree of the Prairies and the Ojibway people of Northwestern Ontario. At the age of 15, Brian Marion was born in Kamsack, Saskatchewan in 1960.
He grew up between the Saulteaux and Cree of the Prairies and the Ojibway people of Northwestern Ontario. At the age of 15, Brian began a nine year apprenticeship with Norval Morrisseau, considered to be the Father of the Canadian Woodland Aboriginal style of art. According to Morrisseau, "during those years of training, Brian learned both the spiritualism of the Ojibway culture and the techniques of Shaman art." "As an artist," Morrisseau continues, "he has learned to apply colour to forms that were derived, in part, from ancient pictographs still found in the central region of Canada.
While he developed his artistic talents, he was taught to use the meanings of the legends as a basis for the composition of his paintings. Marion has acquired the knowledge from the visions of our people and has come to understand our close ties with nature. He has been able to get inspiration from his native spirituality and with the blessing of the Creator, add his own emotional and intuitive interpretations to produce beautiful art.
Russell Noganosh (born 1956) is a Canadian Indian First Nation Ojibway from Magnetawan, Ontario. He was born in Henvey Inlet, Ontario at the home of his grandmother. In 1979 Russell apprenticed under Isaac Bignell from The Pas, Manitoba. Bignell taught him the sponge technique of painting. That experience aside, Russell is largely a self taught artist working with various mediums including acrylic on canvas, paper, birch bark, fungus, and hide.
Only five years after his time with Bignell, Russell was honoured as 1984 Artist of the Year by the Manitoba Bison Alumni Association. The Association produced a limited edition print, “GRAZING BUFFALO,” to commemorate his appointment. In 1988, Russell’s painting was chosen for the cover of a book compiled by Native Artist “Art of the Ne Hiya Wak." The original edition of the book, “Medicine Man Working with Bear Spirits” was published by The Plains Publishing Company Edmonton, Alberta. The book was distributed to schools and libraries across Canada and was also sold in Japan.
In 1990, the Toronto Native Child and Family Services commissioned Russell to create the art for “Spirit of the Children 1 ”and “Spirit of the Children 2, ”which depict native families in search of their children. Also in 1990, Russell’s art appeared on the front cover of “Ontario Pharmacist Magazine. ”Later the Saskatoon Culture Centre produced a calendar featuring Russell’s art. In 1997, the Aids Foundation in Minneapolis commissioned Russell to create a poster for their AIDS Awareness Conference. He also designed the logo for the Mentorship Program for the Minneapolis Friendship Centre. Russell’s artwork has also been featured in the television series “The Rez.”
Frank Polson is from the Algonquins of Long Point First Nations, Québec, A Native North American Algonquin, born in Ville-Marie, Quebec in 1952, Frank Polson is a member of the Long Point First Nation (Northwestern Quebec). Frank is a self-taught artist who produces works of unique beauty, which is relevant to today and in accordance with his heritage. For the last four years he has worked at developing his unique style in the medium of acrylics. Polson has rekindled his fond memories of many pleasurable and educational seasons spent on the trap lines with his father and have tried to capture those wonderful memories on canvas among the glorious sunsets and the sounds and feelings of the wilderness days and nights. The sound of the Great Northern Diver, and the cry of the Timber Wolf seem to haunt his vision of the beautiful Quebec Northwest.
Frank credits the Elders for helping him find and maintain balance in his life, to overcome his problems and conflicts and to live with and finally defeat the frustration that followed him for so many years. He finally knows that he can stop running and that he has nothing to prove to the world. Painting makes me feel like I’m doing something for myself.
Jay Bell Redbird
Jay Bell Redbird was born August 31, 1966 in Ottawa, Ontario. He is the son, of proud parents Elaine Bell (late) and Duke Redbird. He is a member of the Wikwemikong unseeded reserve and currently lives in Toronto. He is a parent to seven children whom he dedicates his paintings to. Jay is a self-taught artist. Growing up, he was around and influenced by world-renowned artists, Jackson Beardy, Norval Morrisseau, Cecil Youngfox, his uncle Leland Bell, and his father, painter and writer Duke Redbird. As a teenager, Norval Morrisseau talked to Jay about colours and their meanings relating how they express Aboriginal language, history and culture.
Jay's Uncle Leland Bell showed him techniques and shared traditional teachings and stories explaining the animals and their meanings. Following those formative years, he continued to paint, learning more and finding his own voice and stories to share through his paintings, which are vibrant in colours, stories and meanings.
Stephen Snake was born on the Chippewas of Rama reserve near Orillia, Ontario in 1966. A self-taught natural born artist, Stephen’s gift was recognized at an early age and encouraged by his mother Carol Shilling. Arthur Shilling, a cousin of Carol, became a strong influence on Stephen’s direction as an artist. His first show was in 1989 at the Woodland Cultural Centre in Brantford, Ontario. Stephen has had several exhibitions since then, solo and group shows, and his work can be found in many private and public collections throughout the world. Some of his early works are in the Orillia Chamber of Commerce, Chipppewas of Rama Band office, and Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto, Ontario and the Canadian Embassy in Hungary. In the spring of 1991, Stephen was fortunate to meet Norval Morrisseau, another great influence in his life’s work, and in 2008 he painted an oil portrait of Norval. The painting was slated to be part of a future solo exhibition but the Maslak gallery acquired the portrait for their permanent collection. This portrait hangs in the Maslak Gallery in Yorkville, Toronto, Ontario and is featured on the website of the Norval Morrisseau Family Foundation. Portraits of the many Chiefs and Warriors of Native North America along with portraits of other Native artists and self-portraits have become signature for Stephen. Notable portraits of Native artists that he has painted, besides Norval Morrisseau, have been Arthur Shilling, Richard Bedwash, Del Ashkewe, and Floyd Kuptana.
In 1997, Jim Hodgins of the Canadian Wildflower magazine invited Stephen to join the “Temagami 22" artists to paint the Old Growth red and white pines of Temagami. The artists were taken by boat & float plane to the various stands of old growth and 38 paintings were created. A preview of the paintings was held at the Arts & Letters Club of Toronto and all the works were featured in a book. The following summer an exhibition & sale was held at the Temagami Welcome Centre gallery in August, 1998.
Stephen has a studio in Rama and one on Bear Island, Lake Temagami where he paints majestic landscapes of the north with his own distinctive, impressionistic Style that resonates the spirituality of the land.
Osvaldo Yero was born in Cuba in 1969 and immigrated to Canada in 1997. He currently lives and works in Montréal, Québec. Working mainly in sculpture and installation, Yero has consistently been concerned with themes that relate to his experience as part of the growing diaspora of Cuba. Politically and socially charged, Yero’s work contends with issues of national identity and plays with the boundaries of kitsch and high art, frequently comprising small-scale ceramic objects that reference pop art and the tourist souvenir. Metaphors of death and water are prevalent throughout Yero’s practice. Through large-scale installations, he has explored the effect of the multiple on the bodily experience of the viewer.