Jane Ash Poitras, painter, printmaker, writer (b at Fort Chipeywan, Alta 1951). She received a BSc from the University of Alberta in 1977, attended a program in printmaking and drawing at Yale University in 1982 and received her BFA in Printmaking from U of A's Department of Art and Design in 1983. She graduated with an MFA in Printmaking from Columbia University, School of Painting and Sculpture in 1985.
Following Poitras's initial concentration on etchings reflecting her scientific background, the confidence and self-insight derived from her experience at Columbia U transformed her work. Inspired by the colour theories of Hans Hofmann, Kandinsky and others, she began introducing pan-Indian references into highly expressionistic paintings. Poitras's mature works combine an awareness of contemporary trends in Western art with insight into native history and culture. Recent works often contain text and photographic images which serve to underline her strong sense of Cree heritage and her active participation in mainstream contemporary culture through her art, writing and teaching.
Jane Ash Poitras's solo exhibitions include Sweat Lodge Etchings organized by the Museum of Anthropology at the University of British Columbia in 1987; Americas seen at the Andalusian Pavilion at Expo 1992 in Seville; Who Discovered the Americas? organized by the Thunder Bay Art Gallery in 1992; and Consecrated Medicine, a touring exhibition organized by the Thunder Bay Art Gallery in 2004. In addition to her participation in 2 major exhibitions organized by the Canadian Museum of Civilization, In the Shadow of the Sun in 1988 and Indigena in 1992, important group shows have occurred in Brooklyn, Los Angeles, Vancouver, Phoenix, Toronto and Montréal.