Archie Beaverho

North Slave

Artist Story

I create paintings of spiritual activities like drum dancing, hand games and people hunting. I paint stories how people used to live on the land and used medicine for guidance and healing. I picture these things in my head and I use my artwork to show it in a painting. Sometimes, if people ask, I do portraits of loved ones who have passed away.

When I was a little boy of about seven or eight, I was living with my grandparents. I would go to school and after school I would play with my friends. One day we were sitting at the table and I looked out the window and saw my friends playing. When I tried to get up and go out, my grandfather grabbed me and said he had something to show me. He had a white sheet of paper and coloured pencils. He put it on the table and told me to look out the window and do a drawing of the friends who are playing outside. And I would one day make a name for myself.

When I was about 12 or 13, I went to the lake by the water and the kids were taking clay out and making a basket. I went in the water and grabbed some and put it on the board and started playing with it, just to feel it and move it. Then I started making a bird out of clay. Today I use soapstone to carve animals.

I went to the University of Calgary in 1992 for three months just to see how other artists work. The first time I worked with oil paint I made a man was sitting down and the earth was cracking from below. There was a smoke coming out and there is a grizzly. I hear it is still hanging at the campus where the students eat lunch. I hope I see that painting again one day.

Last Updated: October 3, 2023

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