September 11, 1919 - October 1, 2016
Manitoulin Island, ON
Daphne Odjig is one of the most celebrated artists in Canada, and is considered a master of the Woodland style of painting, which is predominantly found in Ontario and the Canadian prairies. Largely self-taught, Odjig has been painting since she was a child. However, she was encouraged by her sister to work with Native subject matter in the early 1960s. Odjig had her first solo show at the Lakehead Art Centre, ON, in 1967, and in 1972 she was featured in a pivotal exhibition at the Winnipeg Art Gallery with Dene Suline artist Alex Janvier. This was one of the first times that Native artists were featured in a Canadian art gallery, rather than a museum. In 1973, Odjig co-founded the Professional Native Indian Artists Association. One year later, Odjig and her husband, Chester Beavon, opened the Warehouse Gallery in Winnipeg, MB, which was designed to promote Native artists. Odjig then moved to her current home of Anglemont, BC, in 1976. It was at this time that she really hit her stride as a painter. She went on to receive an Honorary Doctorate of Letters from Laurentian University in 1982, an Honorary Doctorate of Law from the University of Toronto in 1985, and an Honorary Doctorate of Education from Nipissing University in 1997. In 2007, Odjig received the Governor General's Award in Visual and Media Arts.