Mural Monday – Allen Sapp, North Battleford SK.

Last summer one on one of our vacation trips we spent a night in North Battleford, Saskatchewan. On our walk through town, we came across two beautiful mural-sized paintings by Allen Sapp.

Allen Sapp is an aboriginal Saskatchewan painter born in 1928. He currently lives in North Battleford and a gallery there is named after him.

Hockey on the Pond mural by Allen sapp

Hockey on the Pond – by Allen Sapp (Photo © 2013 by V. Nesdoly)

Mother and Baby mural - by Allen Sapp

Mother and Baby – by Allen Sapp  (Photo © 2013 by V. Nesdoly)

Here is a bit about him (quoted from the Allen Sapp Wikipedia entry):

“Allen Sapp was born on the Red Pheasant Reserve, south of the city of North Battleford. His mother suffered from tuberculosis and eventually died during his adolescence.

Allen was raised by his maternal grandmother and grandfather, Albert and Maggie Soonias. As a child, Allen was often ill and spent long hours in bed. His grandmother nurtured him and encouraged his love of drawing, teaching him in the Cree ways.

He attended the Red Pheasant school, but was often mocked and teased by the other children and teachers because of his desire to draw. His grandfather removed him from the school because he needed him on the farm. Allen remained at home and cared for his grandmother until she died in 1963. After her death, he then moved to North Battleford to try to make a living as an artist, selling paintings door to door.

In 1966 he met Dr. Allan Gonor. Dr. Gonor recognized Allen’s talent and encouraged him to paint what he knew — life on the reserve. As soon as Allen began to paint his childhood memories, he was flooded with images, and would stay up all night painting. By the seventies, Allen’s work was known across North America and as far away as London, England.”

One can feel the connection of the artist with his childhood memories in these poignant paintings!


2 thoughts on “Mural Monday – Allen Sapp, North Battleford SK.

  1. I can’t imagine–what it must be like to be flooded with image/memories so vivid that you could paint them from memory. !

    I enjoy all your posts, but for some reason, your mural posts touch my incredibly deeply. I’m so glad you keep expanding on this theme/series…


    • Why thank you Tracy! One of the reasons I like murals, and perhaps why they connect with you too is because they are art of the grassroots, free to all who view, but no less skillful for their accessibility. On top of that, I personally am learning about local and Canadian history as I research them–at least the historical ones.


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