James Wedzin

Region: 
North Slave
Community: 
Behchoko
Primary Art Type: 
Artist Bio: 

Dogrib artist James Wedzin was born and raised in the community of Fort Rae on the shores of Great Slave Lake in the Northwest Territories. Raised by his Grandmother, he would watch her create intricate beadwork patterns to adorn traditional Dene clothing. He credits her for his initial interest in art and later for encouraging him to develop his own style.

Drawing since the age of four, it was not until grade five in school where he was introduced to brush and paint. With no formal training, James would learn on his own from any source he could, including television. He credits the late Bob Ross for showing him many painting techniques he still uses today.

For years James did not realize that he had any special talents.
“I thought that everyone could draw and paint. I didn’t think I could do anything that anyone else couldn’t.”

At fourteen he began to discover that he had talent when he sold his first painting. At eighteen, he was selling his work consistently to corporations and private collectors. In 1999, he made the decision to become a full-time artist.

There is no doubt that with his wonderful Northern Canadian landscapes and animal imagery, James Wedzin will secure his place as one of its best know Aboriginal artists.

Last Updated: May 3, 2022

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