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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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Daphne Odjig, R.C.A.

Anishinaabe

(1919-2016)

First Name: Daphne

Last Name: Odjig

Full Name: Daphne Odjig

Date of birth: September 11, 1919

Place of birth: Wiikwemkoong, Manitoulin Island, Unceded Indian Reserve, Ontario, Canada

Date of death: October 1, 2016

Place of death: Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada

Community / Heritage: Odawa-Potawatomi-English

Sex: Female

Website: odjig.com

Art Media: Oils, Acrylics, Silkscreen Prints, Murals, Pen and Ink, Pastels, Watercolours, Coloured Pencils

Bio:

Daphne Odjig was born in 1919 on Wikwemikong Unceded Indian Reserve, Manitoulin Island, Ontario, Canada. Odjig was a Canadian Anishnaabe artist known for combining traditional Indigenous painting with contemporary and modern styles. In her works, Odjig explored and displayed historical events, legends, her personal and collective challenges and experiences, the role and symbolism of womanhood and the importance of family. 

Odjig contracted rheumatic fever at the age of 13. A keen student, her illness forced her to withdraw from school, but she continued to create art, encouraged by her artistically-inclined family. After leaving the reservation, she taught herself to paint by observing and copying works by artists she saw at the Royal Ontario Museum, the Art Gallery of Ontario and in books and magazines. Picasso was to prove of great influence, as were the Cubists and Modernists. 

With her first husband, Odjig purchased a 30-acre farm in British Columbia with plans to grow strawberries. Summers spent tending the farm allowed Odjig to spend her winters focused on painting, which sparked a period of intense artistic experimentation. 

In 1967, Odjig had her first solo exhibition at the Lakehead Art Centre in Thunder Bay, Ontario. In the following years, she was commissioned to create a number of important projects, such as a collage “Earth Mother” for the Canadian Pavilion at Expo ’70 in Osaka Japan, a large-scale mural “The Great Flood” for Peguis High School in Manitoba in 1971, and a series of illustrations for Dr. Herbert Schwarz’s book “Tales From the Smokehouse” in 1968. That same year, Odjig and her second husband, Chester Beavon, established Odjig Indian Prints of Canada Ltd. and opened a small craft shop in Winnipeg. The business expanded quickly and became not only a distributional point for prints and drawings, but a place where Indigenous artists met to talk about art and ideas.

Odjig, together with Alex Janvier, Norval Morrisseau, Carl Ray, Eddy Cobiness, Jackson Beardy and Joseph Sanchez, co-founded the Professional Native Indian Artists Incorporation, also known as "The Indian Group of Seven" in 1973. 

Odjig is often referred to as the ”Grandmother of Indigenous Art” for her active commitment to the cultural survival and professional success of Indigenous peoples and artists in Canada. She received numerous awards and honorary doctorates, including a Governor General’s Award in Visual and Media Arts, the National Aboriginal Achievement Award, the Order of British Columbia, and the Order of Canada. Her works have been exhibited in the National Gallery of Canada, the McMichael Canadian Art Collection, the Canadian Museum of Civilization and the Art Gallery of Ontario.

Exhibitions

  • 1967: First solo exhibition Lakehead Art Centre in Thunder Bay
  • 1968: Brandon, Manitoba
  • 1970: Earth Mother at Canadian Pavilion, Expo 70, Osaka, Japan
  • 1985: First Retrospective Exhibition, Thunder Bay National Exhibition Centre and Centre for Indian Art
  • Daphne Odjig: Four Decades of Prints:
    Touring exhibition of limited edition prints organized by the Kamloops Art Gallery:
    • 2005: Kamloops Art Gallery, Kamloops BC
    • 2006: Winnipeg Art Gallery, Winnipeg MN
    • 2008: Canadian Museum of Civilization, Ottawa
  • The Drawings and Paintings of Daphne Odjig: A Retrospective Exhibition Touring exhibition organized by Art Gallery of Sudbury and National Gallery of Canada:
    • 2007: Art Gallery of Sudbury, Sudbury ON
    • 2008: Kamloops Art Gallery, Kamloops BC
    • 2008/2009: McMichael Canadian Art Collection, Kleinberg ON
    • 2009: National Gallery of Canada
    • 2009: Institute of American Indian Arts Museum, Santa Fe NM
    • 2010: National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa October
    • 2010: McKenzie Art Gallery, Regina SK

Articles

Awards

  • 1963: Member of the British Columbia Federation of Artists
  • 1971: Arts Grant for tour and exhibition of Paintings at the Smotra Folklore  Festival, Zagreb, Yugoslavia.
  • 1973: Swedish Brucebo Foundation Scholarship and resident Artist at the Foundation Studio, Visby, Island of Gotland, Sweden
  • 1973: Manitoba Arts Council Bursary
  • 1977: Canada Silver Jubilee Medal
  • 1982: Received an Honorary Doctorate of Letters from Laurentian University
  • 1988–1993: Honorary Board Member of the Canada Heritage Foundation
  • 1985: Received an Honorary Doctorate of Law from the University of Toronto
  • 1985: Served as advisor to the Society of Canadian Artists of Native Ancestry (SCANA)
  • 1986: Received the Order of Canada, for her artistic and social activism;
  • 1986: Selected by the curators of the Picasso Museum in Antibes, France, to paint a memorial to Picasso
  • 1989: Elected Member of the Royal Canadian Academy of Art ( R.C.A.)
  • 1992: Commemorative Medal for the 125th Anniversary of the Confederation of Canada
  • 1993: Presented Eagle Feather by SCANA (Society of Canadian Artists of Native Ancestry) at the 5th National Native Symposium, Halifax NS
  • 1993: Presented Certificate of Honour by the En’Owkin Centre and Canada’s Drug Strategy Program, Penticton, BC
  • 1996: Honorary Patron of the Ojibwe Cultural Foundation capital campaign,  West Bay, ON
  • 1997: Received an Honorary Doctorate of Education from Nipissing University
  • 1998: Presented with a National Aboriginal Achievement Award for Arts and Culture
  • 2002: Queen Elizabeth II - Commemorative Golden Jubilee Medal
  • 2002: Canada Post – Genesis  Christmas Stamp
  • 2007: Governor General’s Laureate, Visual & Media Arts. This award is Canada’s highest honour in the field of Visual Arts.
  • 2007: Appointed to the Order of British Columbia, Victoria BC
  • 2008: Lifetime Achievement Award, Okanagan Arts Awards

Artwork

Title Last Sold At Auction
A MOMENT TO-GETHER
A RESTFUL EVENING 2012-03 (March 2012)
DESIRE 2014-07 (July 2014)
FAITHS OF JERUSALEM 2018-03 (March 2018)
FOLK SINGER 2012-03 (March 2012)
HIDE N’ SEEK 2017-10 (October 2017)
HOMAGE TO GRANDFATHER (COMFORTING, LISTENING, LEARNING, BELONGING) 2015-12 (December 2015)
NANABOSHO AND THE WINDIGO (NANABUSH AND THE GIANT) 2015-11 (November 2015)
PRIDE 2017-10 (October 2017)
PROTECTION; LOVING; EMBRACING; DESIRE (FROM THE LOVE SUITE) 2014-10 (October 2014)
SPIRIT OF JERUSALEM 2015-03 (March 2015)
SPRING 2019-01 (January 2019)
SQUAW MAN 2007-06 (June 2007)
THE EVIL SPELL 2018-05 (May 2018)
TREE CLIMBING 2018-02 (February 2018)
VISITING GRANDMA 2014-04 (April 2014)
“INDIANS WITHOUT TIPIS” AND “LITTLE MOTHERS” 2018-01 (January 2018)

Recent Auction Results

SPRING
Estimate: 250 — 350
Sold: Jan 2019 — Sold For: $300
THE EVIL SPELL
Estimate: 400 — 500
Sold: May 2018 — Sold For: $360
FAITHS OF JERUSALEM
Estimate: 250 — 350
Sold: Mar 2018 — Sold For: $720
TREE CLIMBING
Estimate: 150 — 200
Sold: Feb 2018 — Sold For: $450
“INDIANS WITHOUT TIPIS” AND “LITTLE MOTHERS”
Estimate: 250 — 300
Sold: Jan 2018 — Sold For: $228
PRIDE
Estimate: 200 — 300
Sold: Oct 2017 — Sold For: $660

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