JANUARY 2, 1928

CREE PAINTER ALLEN SAPP BORN—GRANDFATHER OF SASKATCHEWAN FIRST NATION ARTS

From the Red Pheasant Reserve in north central Saskatchewan, Sapp’s artistic talent, developed while recovering from childhood illnesses, was nurtured by his maternal grandmother.  He didn’t learn to read or write as a child, but found his refuge in drawing pictures.  As he got older, he attempted to make a living selling his art door-to-door.  Exhibiting for the first time in the late 1960s at the Robertson Galleries, Sapp was elected to the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts in 1975, was among the first recipients of the Saskatchewan Award of Merit in 1985, and was named an Officer of the Order of Canada in 1986.  Considered by some as the “Grandfather of Saskatchewan First Nation Arts,” Sapp was able to capture life in Saskatchewan during “a very difficult time” for the province.  He died on December 29, 2015 in North Battleford, Saskatchewan.

Sources:  Morgan Modjeski, “Remembering Saskachewan artist Allen Sapp,” Saskatoon StarPhoenix, updated 12/29/2015.  Retrieved 8/13/2019, https://thestarphoenix.com/news/local-news/remembering-saskatchewan-artist-allen-sapp Wikipedia
Photo:  Dean Bauche, 10/6/2003.  Public Domain.

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