We are proud to welcome Vancouver Island based artist IceBear to the Ukama Gallery family. Inspired and transcending canvases in acrylic and oil impress rich and warm hues upon their viewer, while they explore the intuitive brush strokes of a master painter and carver.
IceBear is a status member of the Chippewas of Nawash at Cape Croker at Georgian Bay in Ontario. While still a teen, he attended the Toronto Artist’s Workshop, and later Sheridan College. He has been a farm hand, construction worker, and male model. After college, he went to work in the advertising and communications industry, starting with the Hudson Bay Company’s sign shop, then a stint in one of the world’s most respected Type foundries, Typsettra, and went on to spend the next twenty five years as designer and art director, going from in-house agency designer and art director to owning his own high boutique design studio with a staff of ten, before turning his back on the Toronto scene and making his way to the west coast, first Vancouver, and then Vancouver Island, where he gave up the commercial art world altogether.
With his arrival on the west coast, in the early 80s, he felt a growing need to follow his dreams, fulfil his “responsibilities” and give the visions the chance to materialize. He moved to Vancouver Island, adopting the name Ice Bear for his art, and made a personal commitment to fine art.
Since that time, his art has expanded his horizons. The child taken from his family and at an early age, raised by the state, having to fend for himself since his mid teens, has gone on to become a noted artist, with his work shown and collected internationally. From the reservation, to life on the mean streets, and then to showing in New York, Dallas, Beijing, even in the home of one of his artistic idols, Michelangelo, Florence Italy, and touring the galleries and concert halls of Vienna, it has been a life journey full of learning, of inspiration, and of wonder.
Ice Bear’s work reflects his beliefs about the necessity of understanding the natural world around us, and learning to respect both this Earth and all our fellow travellers on it. Other themes are related to these beliefs, reflecting his cultural heritage, the mythologies of aboriginal peoples, and the conundrum of being aboriginal in a technological world.