Fafard, Joseph

  Joseph Fafard, sculptor (b at Ste-Marthe-Rocanville, Sask 2 Sept 1942). Joe Fafard attended the University of Manitoba (BFA 1966) and Pennsylvania State University (MFA 1968). He began his career making kinetic sculpture, but soon after his appointment at the University of Saskatchewan in 1968 he turned to satirical plaster portraits of his colleagues and people in the art world. He started working in ceramic around 1972, broadening his range of subjects to respond to the life and people of his community. In 1985, he switched to bronze as his medium of choice. Through his ceramic and bronze portraits of people and animals inthe FOLK ART tradition, Fafard has gained considerable recognition across the country and internationally.

In 1985 Fafard's work The Pasture, comprising 7 bronze cows with varying patinas, was completed for an area outside the IBM tower of the Toronto Dominion Centre, Toronto. Another large public project, MacLaren Against the Grain: The Fafard Field Project, was organized by the MacLaren Art Centre in partnership with the 1997 International Plowing Match (IPM). The artwork, which was sited in a farm field near Barrie Ont, involved the creation of the plowed image of a horse that was planted in different crops that changed colour with the seasons.

In 1987 Joe Fafard moved his studio to Regina. "The Bronze Years," a survey exhibition of his works in bronze, was mounted by the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts in 1996 and in 2007 a major exhibition comprising 70 works was Organized and circulated by the MacKenzie Art Gallery in partnership with the National Gallery of Canada.

Joe Fafard was named an Officer of the Order of Canada in 1981; awarded the Architectural Institute of Canada Allied Arts Award in 1987; received an honorary Degree from the University of Regina in 1989, and from the University of Manitoba in 2007; received the Saskatchewan Order of Merit in 2002; received the National Prix Montfort in 2003; received the Lieutenant Governor's Saskatchewan Centennial Medal for the Arts in 2005.