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i u a pi pu pa ti tu ta ki ku ka gi gu ga mi mu ma ni nu na si su sa li lu la ji ju ja vi vu va ri ru ra qi qu qa ngi ngu nga lhi lhu lha

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Jackson Beardy

Anishinaabe

(1944-1984)

First Name: Jackson

Last Name: Beardy

Full Name: Jackson Beardy

Name in syllabics: N/A

Alternative Names: N/A

Date of birth: July 24, 1944

Place of birth: Garden Hill Reserve, Island Lake, Canada

Date of death: December 7, 1984

Place of death: Winnipeg, Canada

Community / Heritage: Anishinaabe: Ojibwe and Cree

Sex: Male

Disc Number: N/A

Website: N/A

Art Media: serigraph, silkscreen, gouache, watercolour, lithograph

Bio:

Jackson Beardy was an Indigenous Canadian artist of Ojibwe and Cree heritage and a member of the Woodlands School of Art. He was born the fifth of thirteen children at Garden Hill Reserve on the shores of Island Lake in Manitoba, Canada. For most of his childhood Jackson lived with his maternal grandmother from whom he learned the history, traditions and stories of his Anishinaabe ancestors.

From the age of seven, Beardy attended a residential school at Portage la Prairie in Southern Manitoba. His knowledge of English was nonexistent requiring him to learn to speak, write and read the language when he started school. Despite the hardships of the residential school system, there Beardy discovered his interest in drawing and painting. Upon graduation, he studied commercial art at the Winnipeg Vocational School from 1963–1964. In 1966, he completed his education at the School of Fine Arts at the University of Manitoba.

Beardy had a distinctive graphic style characterized by flat areas of warm colours and curving ribbons of paint. His works often explored relationships between humans and nature, narrated legends, myths and traditions.

Beardy had his first solo exhibition in 1965 at the University of Winnipeg, which led to others throughout the 1960s and 1970s. In 1967, he went to Montreal as a consultant for the Canadian Indian Pavilion at Expo '67. That same year, he was commissioned to create pieces to commemorate the Canadian centennial and the Manitoba centennial in 1970.

In 1972, Beardy and fellow artists Alex Janvier and Daphne Odjig held a joint exhibition at the Winnipeg Art Gallery called "Treaty Numbers 23, 287, 1171". The name was a reference to the treaty numbers that the Canadian government gave to the Indigenous groups. The exhibition laid the foundation for a collective that would become known as the Professional Native Indian Artists Incorporation, also known as the "Indian Group of Seven". Alongside Beardy, Odjig and Janvier, the other group members included Norval Morrisseau, Carl Ray, Eddy Cobiness and Joseph Sanchez, and shared the goal of promoting both their work and Indigenous art as a whole within Canada. 

Beardy contributed his artwork to the covers of numerous books including “Ojibwe Heritage” by Basil Johnston, “When the Morning Stars Sang Together” by John Morgan, and “Almighty Voice” by Leonard Peterson. In 1976, he was one of the artists to contribute work to the “Contemporary Native Art of Canada: The Woodland Indians” exhibit at the Royal Ontario Museum.

Beardy spent time teaching art at Brandon University, the University of Manitoba, and in schools across Winnipeg. In the early 1980s, Beardy lived in Ottawa, acting as an art advisor and cultural consultant to the Department of Indian Affairs and Northern Development. During that time, he was less able to dedicate time to his art.

In 1984, he returned home to Winnipeg where he began to work on a new series of prints. In mid-November, Beardy suffered a heart attack and passed shortly after. Beardy inspired many students and artists with his work. The year after Beardy’s death, the graphic arts class at R.B. Russell Vocational high school in Winnipeg created a monument to his work, recreating “Peace and Harmony,” a piece he had been working on just before his death, on the exterior walls of the Indian Family Centre on Selkirk Avenue.

Exhibitions

  • 1965: University of Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
  • 1972: Winnipeg Art Gallery, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. Treaty Numbers 23, 287, 1171.
  • 1976: Winnipeg Art Gallery, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
  • 1977: Vancouver, BritishColumbia, Canada. Images for a Canadian Heritage.
  • 1982: Indian and Northern Affairs Canada (travelling exhibition)
  • 1983-1985: Thunder Bay Art Gallery, Ontario
  • 1993: Jackson Beardy: A Life's Work

Collections

  • Canadian Museum of Civilization, Hull, QC
  • Department of Justice, Supreme Court, Ottawa, ON
  • Indian and Northern Affairs Canada, Ottawa, ON
  • Manitoba Museum of Man and Nature, Winnipeg, MB
  • McMichael Canadian Art Collection, Kleinburg, ON

Articles

Awards

  • 1967: Canadian Centennial Medal
  • 1974: Young Achievers Award
  • 1982: Canada Council Grant
  • 1982: Outstanding Young Manitoban Award

Artwork

Title Last Sold At Auction
COMMUNICATION 2015-12 (December 2015)
FLIGHT ON WINGS 2018-11 (November 2018)
HATCHING BIRDS 2018-08 (August 2018)
LOONS ON RED 2014-03 (March 2014)
UNTITLED (BEAR & SPIRIT) 2016-08 (August 2016)
UNTITLED (THUNDERBIRD) 2017-11 (November 2017)
“REDEYES” 2017-10 (October 2017)

Recent Auction Results

FLIGHT ON WINGS
Estimate: 400 — 500
Sold: Nov 2018 — Sold For: $1,200
HATCHING BIRDS
Estimate: 100 — 125
Sold: Aug 2018 — Sold For: $120
HATCHING BIRDS
Estimate: 125 — 175
Sold: Mar 2018 — Sold For: $108
UNTITLED (THUNDERBIRD)
Estimate: 1,500 — 2,000
Sold: Nov 2017 — Sold For: $1,320
“REDEYES”
Estimate: 150 — 200
Sold: Oct 2017 — Sold For: $660
UNTITLED (BEAR & SPIRIT)
Estimate: 1,000 — 1,500
Sold: Aug 2016 — Sold For: $2,880

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