In many indigenous cultures, the bear is seen as a symbol of wisdom, as a guardian, teacher and leader. For Metis artist Rick Rivet, this powerful image of a grizzly bear’s head pays homage to that ancient idea. Inspired by his own rich culture and history, Rivet creates colourful, abstracted paintings often rooted in the natural world. Rivet’s grizzly is looking directly at the viewer rendered in chocolate brown, white, red and green against an expressive wash of yellow, orange, sky blue and turquoise.
"This artistic perspective involves beliefs centred in myths and dreams, both individual and collective, in a culture which has as its central figure, the shaman. It is a ‘nature-oriented’ belief system and ideology, a holistic world-view.” Rick Rivet
Born in Aklavik, Northwest Territories, Rick Rivet’s family lived by trapping, hunting and fishing. He completed his MFA at the U. of Saskatchewan in 1989 and began painting full time. Rivet has been the recipient of over twenty awards, scholarships and bursaries, including a Fellowship from the Eiteljorg Museum in Indianapolis, and the Andy Warhol Foundation Fellowship Residency Program for the Heard Museum in Phoenix. His work is in private, corporate, and public collections in Canada and the US.