Joe Fafard

About the Artist

Joe Fafard is an internationally acclaimed artist who was born in the small farming community of Ste. Marthe, Saskatchewan in 1942. One of Fafard’s most well-known works, Teevo, one of his signature sculptures of a cow, is featured in the Common Place theme on the ARTSask website. Ironically, when he was a boy growing up on the farm he would draw pictures of horses, not cows, in his spare moments. People began to notice his ability to  sketchA rough or unfinished visual composition, usually to assist in the completion of a more elaborate version.  animals and told him he would be an artist someday.

Fafard received his Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the University of Manitoba in 1966, and then earned his Master of Fine Arts degree from Pennsylvania State University in 1968. He taught art at the Regina Campus of the University of Saskatchewan from 1968 to 1974, but left teaching to settle in the small community of Pense, just west of Regina, where he became a full-time sculptor.

In the 1970s, Fafard used  clayMud; moist, sticky dirt. In ceramics, clay is the basic material, usually referring to any of a certain variety of mixtures of such ingredients — fine-grained, firm earthy material that is plastic when wet, brittle when dry, and very hard when heated. There is a temperature with ceramic clays at which their particles fuse (vitrification), and this is most commonly controlled by heating (firing) them in a kiln. The most common types of ceramic clays are earthenware (terra cotta when fired, terra cruda when not), stonewares, and porcelain. (Artlex.com)  as a  mediumAny material and technique used to produce a work of art (paint, glass, clay, fibre, video, sound, etc.). It may also refer to the liquid with which powdered pigments are mixed to make paint. Note that the plural form of “medium” is “media.”  for much of his sculpture. His career took a new direction in the early 1980s when he won a major  commissionA contract between an artist and an individual. The artist agrees to create an image or design for the individual for a predetermined price.  to create a  public art installationArtworks that are designed specifically for, or placed in areas physically accessible to the general public. The meanings and functions of these works varies widely, based on the societal and aesthetic values of the communities, institutions, and individuals which commission them. (Artlex.com)  at the Toronto-Dominion Bank building in downtown Toronto. Entitled The Pasture, his casting in  bronzeAny of various alloys of copper and tin, sometimes with tin or other metals. It has commonly been used in casting. A work cast in bronze is sometimes referred to as a bronze. It may also refer to the color of bronze, a moderate yellowish to olive brown.(Artlex.com)  of cows grazing on what was once a pasture was a success. In 1985 he established a foundry in Pense. Fafard now lives on an acreage just north of Regina, and he continues to produce insightful and often humourous  ceramicPottery or hollow clay sculpture fired at high temperatures in a kiln or oven to make them harder and stronger. Types include earthenware, porcelain, stoneware, and terra cotta. (Artlex.com)  and  bronzeAny of various alloys of copper and tin, sometimes with tin or other metals. It has commonly been used in casting. A work cast in bronze is sometimes referred to as a bronze. It may also refer to the color of bronze, a moderate yellowish to olive brown.(Artlex.com)  works of people and animals that reveal his close connections with Prairie life.


Farm Background and Observation
Funk Art and the Regina Clay Movement: A Conversation with Timothy Long
How He Came to Regina as a Teacher and a Sculptor
On Commissioned Work
On Critics, Commercial Success and not Compromising Your Art
The Common Place
Valadon Potter and Teevo
Canadian Heritage University of Regina Mackenzie Art Gallery Mendel Art Gallery Sask Learning