Allen Sapp, Canadian painter, Died at 87


Allen Sapp was born on January 2, 1928, in North Battleford and died on December 28, 2015.

He was a Canadian Cree painter.

Allen was best known for his art and his story throughout Canada and has become an inspiration to many.

Sapp paintings express a personal story.

Sapps mother passed away due to tuberculosis.

He was raised by his grandparents, Albert and Maggie Soonias.

Allen 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.

He lived with his Grandmother until her death in 1963.

He then moved to North Battleford to try to make a living as an artist, selling paintings door to door.

Sapp met Dr. Allan Gonor, in 1966, Dr. Gonor recognized his talent and encouraged him to paint what he knew, which was life on the reserve.

Sapp painted his childhood memories, he had many images to paint, and would stay up all night painting.

By the 1970s, his work was known across North America and as far away as London,

Many of his paintings feature images of his grandmother, and reflect the love he has for her.

His paintings seem to touch something in all people and his work and life story have been the subject of numerous books and television documentaries over the years.

Allen was often ill as a child and spent long hours in bed.

Allen Sapps grandmother nurtured him and encouraged his love of drawing, teaching him in the Cree ways.

In 1986, he was made an Officer of the Order of Canada “for his portrayals of Native peoples and of life on the reserve”.

Allen was awarded the Saskatchewan Order of Merit, in 1985.

Sapps was elected to the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts, in 1975.

Allen received the Governor General’s Award for English language children’s illustration for the book, The Song Within My Heart in 2003.

Allen Sapps passed away at 87 yrs old on December 28, 2015.