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Eugene McNabb, Cree Artist

Cathy Buburuz, Indian and Northern Affairs Canada, Saskatchewan Region

At age 17, Cree Indian artist Eugene McNab left his home on the Peepeekisis Reserve to live in Washington State. It was there that his artworks were recognized and appreciated for their ability to awaken and stimulate human emotion. His paintings, which capture human essence with delicate and intricate realism, closely resemble photographic images.

"I've always had a special interest in Indian ancestry and I've conducted a considerable amount of research into the lives of many Indian people who influenced Canadian and American history. In my portraits of Indian Elders, I work to capture the pride, dignity and spiritual qualities of those who lived in a traditional past, those days gone by that I wish I could have experienced...things like having a good buffalo robe to keep you warm," Eugene said.

Eugene remained in the United States for 13 years where he trained and worked with American artists. He was, in fact, selected from a group of 500 artists to receive a grant from the Washington State Arts Commission to provide art awareness instruction to elementary and secondary students.

A soft-spoken man of 32, Eugene has confidence in himself and in his future. He recently returned to Saskatchewan where he plans to expand and enhance his reputation through media such as ballpoint pen, pencil, watercolor and acrylic. To date his paintings have sold in Canada, the United States, Holland and Germany, some for as high as $3,500.

"My goal is to receive international acclaim and to become the most economically rewarded artist alive today," Eugene said.