About the artistJerry Whitehead. Cree. Over the years, Jerry's artwork has gone through a number of stages. The one thing that has remained constant throughout this progression is his focus on powwows and powwow dancers."Powwow dancers have been an ongoing theme in my work since I began painting. Seeing the dancers as a child had a lasting impression. The subject matter has been ideal for expressing a part of my culture as well as accommodating changes in my work," says the artist from the Peter Chapman First Nation. As a child in Saskatchewan, Whitehead says he was interested in art like any of his friends. He says, "I used to draw as a kid. I used to draw all the time." Unlike the average kid, he used almost any source he could find for his drawings including the ashes that remained from fires and the lead in the bullets his father used as a hunter. Upon completing his formal training, Whitehead began showing his work in exhibitions across the country. In the years since, he has had numerous shows in Saskatchewan, Ontario, Nova Scotia and British Columbia. His work has been commissioned by University Hospital in Saskatoon and the Summer Pops Symphony at Cable Wharf in Halifax to name but two. Whitehead says that his style has changed over the years. "I went through a lot of different stages," he says. In the beginning, Whitehead did beadwork and attached the work to his paintings. He also says that, for awhile, he used to wrinkle his canvas to give his paintings a dimensional appearance. Jerry was the co-artistic director on the 'Through the Eye of the Raven' mural project.
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