First Name: Sam
Last Name: Ash
Full Name: Samuel Ash
Name in syllabics: N/A
Alternative Names: “Silent Sam”
Date of birth: 1951 (1951-04-05?)
Place of birth: Sioux Lookout, Ontario, Canada
Date of death: N/A
Place of death: N/A
Community / Heritage: Ojibwe
Disc Number: N/A
Art Media: Acrylic, lithograph, silkscreen, serigraph.
Sam Ash is a Canadian Indigenous artist born in 1951 in Sioux Lookout, Ontario, Canada. Born Ojibwe, he was adopted by a Metis couple after his mother died during childbirth. Ash was born without the ability to hear or speak. He was sent to the Ontario School for the Deaf in Belleville (now The Sir James Whitney School for the Deaf) where he learned to read and write.
Ash is a self-taught painter of the Woodland School, and has been painting since 1974. Despite demand for his work following a successful exhibition at the Windsor Gallery in the early 1990s, Ash stopped painting for 15 years due to personal difficulties, including struggles with alcohol and homelessness. In 2005, Ash returned to making and showing his work, staging an exhibition, “Rising from the Ashes,” at the Mackenzie Hall Cultural Centre in Windsor, Ontario.
Ash’s works are part of many private, corporate and public collections including the Canadian Museum of Civilization, the Royal Ontario Museum and the Canada House Gallery in London, England.
- 1975: Canadian Indian Art ’74. Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
- 2005: Mackenzie Hall cultural centre, Windsor, Ontario, Canada
- Royal Ontario Museum
- The Contemporary Native Art of Canada centre (now Indigenous Art Centre)
- The Canadian Museum of Civilization, Hull, Gatineau, Quebec, Canada
- The Dennos Museum Center, Traverse City, Michigan, USA
- Thunder Bay Art Gallery, Ontario, Canada
- The McMichael Canadian Art Collection, Vaughan, Ontario, Canada
- The Heritage Center Inc. Collection, South Dakota, USA
- The Government of Ontario Art Collection
1978: Red Cloud Indian Art Show