From Clas­sic to Con­tem­po­rary

Stanstead Journal - - NEWS - Sher­brooke

‘Over the past four decades, Joe Fa­fard has cre­ated a body of work that has found a per­ma­nent place in peo­ple’s hearts and minds. Re­mark­ably, the ap­peal of his work crosses the lines that of­ten di­vide our so­ci­ety: ur­ban and ru­ral, French and English, east and west, elite and pop­u­lar. Re­gion­ally rooted yet cos­mopoli­tan, Fa­fard’s aes­thetic in­ter­ests have al­ways ad­vanced hand in hand with a se­ri­ous de­sire to en­gage our com­mu­nal nar­ra­tives.’ Ter­rence Heath. Joe Fa­fard, 2007, MBAC.

At the Musée des beauxarts de Sher­brooke, calves, cows, and pigs will min­gle with fig­ures from the world of pol­i­tics, as well as with friends and fam­ily of the artist. These forty works in bronze or earth­en­ware will be joined by a num­ber of fine draw­ings of horses. The sculp­tor Joe Fa­fard is a pur­veyor of hap­pi­ness: who­ever sees his works is obliged to smile and be cheer­ful.

Joe Fa­fard, a twelfth gen­er­a­tion Cana­dian, was born in Sain­teMarthe, Saskatchewan, on Septem­ber 2nd 1942. He is a sculp­tor best known for cre­at­ing ob­jects which take as muse, and pay homage to, his com­mu­nity and farm life. He is equally well known for his in­tri­cate sculp­tures of in­di­vid­u­als, be they artists, writers, the­o­rists, politi­cians, strangers or friends. His ca­reer has boldly blazed a path for the rein­vig­o­ra­tion of sculp­ture in the Cana­dian con­tem­po­rary art scene. Fa­fard showed a keen in­ter­est in art from a young age. Af­ter re­ceiv­ing en­cour­age­ment from his fam­ily, and high school teach­ers, Fa­fard en­tered for­mal art stud­ies at the Univer­sity of Man­i­toba in Win­nipeg, grad­u­at­ing with a Bach­e­lors of Fine Arts de­gree in 1966. He then went on to com­plete a Mas­ters of Arts de­gree from Penn­syl­va­nia State Univer­sity. Fa­fard’s ca­reer took a ma­jor shift in the early 1980’s when he came across the Toronto Do­min­ion Bank’s call of pro­pos­als for a new pub­lic art in­stal­la­tion. The com­mis­sion, which he won, pro­pelled Fa­fard into a new phase of cre­ation with a new medium, bronze. Whether he draws his inspiration from the an­i­mal king­dom or fel­low artists, Fa­fard’s sculp­tures hold within them a quiet dig­nity and strength which con­tin­ues to amaze and cap­ture the pub­lic’s at­ten­tion.

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