Bob Boyer: His Life's Work


Bob Boyer Biography

Born in Saskatchewan in 1948, Robert James (Bob) Boyer graduated from the Regina Campus of the University of Saskatchewan with a Bachelor of Education (Art) in 1971. In 1978, Boyer joined the Saskatchewan Indian Federated College (now the First Nations University of Canada) in Regina where he worked until his untimely death in 2004. He actively contributed to the development of the Indian Fine Arts Program at the College, where he served as the Head of the Department of Indian Fine Arts (1980–1998; 2000–2004) and was appointed a full Professor of Indian Art and Art History in 2004.

Boyer’s work has been included in many major group exhibitions of Aboriginal art in Canada over the past twenty-five years, including two internationally travelling exhibitions organized by the Canadian Museum of Civilization: In the Shadow of the Sun (1988–1991) and INDIGENA: Perspectives of Indigenous Peoples on Five Hundred Years (1992–1995). Selected solo exhibitions include Bob Boyer: A Blanket Statement, Museum of Anthropology, University of British Columbia (1988); Shades of Difference: The Art of Bob Boyer, Edmonton Art Gallery (1991); and Spiritual Landscapes: Recent Paintings by Bob Boyer, Thunder Bay Art Gallery (1999). Boyer was the recipient of several public art commissions nationally and internationally, including murals for the Royal Saskatchewan Museum and the Albert Library in Regina.

Throughout his career as artist and educator, Boyer tirelessly championed the need for a heightened recognition of Aboriginal art and artists in Canada. He was a Board member of the Society of Canadian Artists of Native Ancestry (SCANA), a national advocacy organization that effectively lobbied for the inclusion of contemporary Aboriginal art at institutions throughout Canada during the late 1980s and early 1990s. He was also a groundbreaking curator, organizing exhibitions for the MacKenzie Art Gallery which highlighted the achievements of historical and contemporary Aboriginal artists, including: 100 Years of Saskatchewan Indian Art, 1830-1930, New Work by a New Generation (with Carol A. Phillips), Kiskayetum: Allen Sapp, a Retrospective and The Powwow: An Art History (with Lee-Ann Martin).

Visit: Bob Boyer Chronology