Joe Fafard - How He Came to Regina as a Teacher and a Sculptor

When I was very very young I had an instinct to draw, and it started maybe when I was three or four years old. So my parents noticed that and they started supplying me with what they could…pencils, paper…

One morning when we had my mother’s sister visiting us, they were sitting at the breakfast table, and you could see the stairs coming down from there, and as I came down the stairs with my pencil and my sketchbook and I was still groggy from sleep, this aunt turns towards the rest of the family and gestured towards me and said ‘Voici l’artist canadien francais’ which meant ‘here’s the great French-Canadian artist’. And that sort of set the tone in the family, and then after that I was known as the artist in the family. And I of course overheard this and I started to think, "What is an artist?" And, "oh it's somebody who does what I like – and I like to draw, so maybe I can be an artist." Eventually people started saying, "You can actually be an artist - that is a profession." I decided to go to art school in Winnipeg - the School of Art at the University of Manitoba is where I enrolled in 1962. And I did four years there of undergraduate studies and got a Bachelor’s degree there. Then I did two years at Penn State University and got a Master’s degree there. I applied all over Canada for jobs to teach in art schools and the one place that did grant me a job was Regina, Saskatchewan. So I came here in 1968 and started teaching at the University of Saskatchewan, Regina Campus as an instructor. I discovered sculpture when I was in third-year university. Up to that point I had been doing a lot of drawing and a lot of painting and then I was forced to take a course in sculpture, and that’s when I really became excited about sculpture. From then on I’ve always thought of my main interest as sculpture. I have continued to draw and I’ve sometimes painted, but sculpture’s the thing that animates me most.

Duration: 3:16 min
Size: 14480kb

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