Located in AH 101, next to Printing Services (Administration Humanities Building, 1st floor)
Threshing in the Old Days, date unknown
Acrylic on canvas
15 3/4″ x 17 3/4″
University of Regina President’s Art Collection, Shumiatcher Donation. Gift of Dr. Morris C. Shumiatcher, O.C., S.O.M., Q.C. and Dr. Jacqui Clay Shumiatcher, S.O.M., C.M., 2016; sc.2016.61
Horses Drinking, c. 1983
Acrylic on canvas
24″ x 30″
University of Regina President’s Art Collection; pc.1998.11
Horse-drawn sleighs, games played around a coal oil lamp, Nokum stretching a deer hide and drinking tea, such are the tender scenes reimagined by Cree artist, Allen Sapp. A keen observer of life on the Red Pheasant Nation, near North Battleford, Saskatchewan, on which he was raised, Sapp’s paintings offer a biography of self and community during and after the Great Depression. Life, work and leisure throughout the seasons on the reserve are all illustrated. Winter appears frequently, a time Sapp was particularly fond of, owing to it being the season of his birth. He was the Grand Nephew of Chief Poundmaker and was raised by his beloved Nokum, with whom he developed a profound relationship as she cared for him throughout a childhood impaired by illness. She appears in many of the canvases she encouraged him to paint. More than representation alone, the power of Sapp’s paintings lies in their evocative character and his skill in storytelling. An appreciation for nature and hard work are revealed in the memories central to his identity, painted years later, “as if my mind was a camera”, he said. In honour of his outstanding artistic achievements, Sapp was elected to the Royal Canadian Academy (1973) received the Saskatchewan Award of Merit (1985) and was made an Officer of the Order of Canada (1987).
Horses Drinking was donated by the artist on the receipt of his honorary doctorate from the University of Regina in 1998. Threshing in the Old Days was donated by Jacqui Shumiatcher, who remembered seeing Sapp’s first exhibition in Regina at the Saskatchewan Power Corporation’s Gallery on the Roof. Recognizing his talent, she purchased this small canvas recording Sapp’s memory of harvest on his reserve during the days of stooks and threshing machines.