A absolutely beautiful piece came in yesterday done by local artist Russell Noganosh. It is a carved bear standing on a slab of green soapstone. (Sorry the photos are a little washed out) the native bear carving is almost jet black with some green marbling – it’s really very beautiful in person and rather heavy as the bear is carved out of solid stone.
FOLLOW UP (april 2012)
To follow up we had the oppertunity to meet Russell. He dropped by the store and introduced himself. It was a hounor to meet him. We now have some history on Russell (below) that we can share wit our readers. Russell shared some wonderful stories with us and brought some native hieroglyphic paintings he did and explained the meanings behind the images. He has true passion and pride for his native culture and loves to share this with others. I look forward to future talks with Russell. (biography info below)
Russell Noganosh (born 1956 ) is a Canadian Indian First Nation Ojibwe (Ojibway) from Magnetawan. He was born in Henvey Inlet at the home of his grandmother. In 1979 Russell apprenticed under Isaac Bignell from The Pas, Manitoba. Bignell taught him the sponge technique of painting. That experience aside, Russell is largely a self taught artist working with various mediums including acrylic on canvas, paper, birch bark, fungus, and hide.
Only five years after his time with Bignell, Russell was honored as “1984 Artist of the Year” by the Manitoba Bison Alumni Association. The Association produced a limited edition print, “GRAZING BUFFALO,” to commemorate his appointment. In 1988, Russel’s painting was chosen for the cover of a book compiled by Native Artist “Art of the Ne Hiya Wak.” The original edition of the book, “Medicine Man Working with Bear Spirits” was published by The Plains Publishing Company Edmonton, Alberta. The book was distributed to schools and libraries across Canada and was also sold in Japan. In 1990, the Toronto Native Child and Family Services commissioned Russell to create the art for “Spirit of the Children 1” and “Spirit of the Children 2,” which depict native families in search of their children. Also in 1990, Russell’s art appeared on the front cover of “Ontario Pharmacist Magazine.” Later the Saskatoon Culture Centre produced a calendar featuring Russell’s art.
In 1997, the Aids Foundation in Minneapolis commissioned Russell to create a poster for their AIDS Awareness Conference. He also designed the logo for the Mentorship Program for the Minneapolis Friendship Centre. Russell’s artwork has also been featured in the television series “The Rez.” .
Russell’s artwork is part of several private collections including the following:
Red River College Art Centre, Alberta
Saskatchewan Indian Federated College, Saskatchewan
Art Umbrella Gallery, Peterborough, Ontario
White Mountain Academy, Elliot Lake, Ontario
University of Toronto Art Gallery, Toronto, Ontario
Yorkton Art Council, Saskatchewan
Mohawk Gallery, Ontario
Niagara Collage Art Gallery, Niagara
Doctor Bernard Cinader. Toronto, Ontario
Doctor Martin Osler, Toronto, Ontario
Doctor Lewin, Toronto, Ontario
Doctor Morgan, Toronto, Ontario
The Algonquin Collage, Ottawa