Artworks and Artists
Joe Fafard
Born in Ste. Marthe, Saskatchewan, 02 September 1942

Joe Fafard

Joe Fafard, a twelfth generation Canadian, is a sculptor best known for creating objects which take as muse, and pay homage to, his community and farm life. He is equally well know for his intricate sculptures of individuals, be they artists, writers, theorists, politicians, strangers or friends.

Born into a French Canadian family of farmers in the French speaking community of Sainte-Marthe, Fafard showed a keen interest in art from a young age. After receiving encouragement from his family, and high school teachers, Fafard entered formal art studies at the University of Manitoba in Winnipeg, graduating with a Bachelors of Fine Arts degree in 1966. He then went on to complete a Masters of Arts degree from Pennsylvania State University. In 1968 he switched from student to teacher delivering courses in sculpture and pottery at the University of Saskatchewan, Regina campus. It was during this time that his colleague David Gilhooly inspired him to explore ceramics as a medium for artistic expression. In 1974 he left teaching, and settled in Pense Saskatchewan and began life as a full-time sculptor.

Fafard's career took a major shift in the early 1980's when he came across the Toronto Dominion Bank's call of proposals for a new public art installation. The commission, which he won, propelled Fafard into a new phase of creation with a new medium, bronze. In 1985 Fafard opened his own foundry, Julienne Atelier, Inc., in Pense, Saskatchewan.

Fafard was awarded the Order of Canada in 1981, the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada Allied Arts Award in 1987, and a year later he was awarded an honorary doctorate from the University of Regina. Mr. Fafard was presented with the Saskatchewan Order of Merit in 2002.