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Cover Artist: Kevin Pee-Ace

SASKATCHEWAN INDIAN      WINTER/SPRING 1999      v29 n01 p22  
Artist Kevin Pee-ace When artist Kevin Pee-ace becomes engrossed in his work, he creates a piece that tells a story. Although Pee-ace has created works of art in the forms of sculpting and printmaking, his preference is acrylic on canvas. He prefers life-sized paintings to diminutive ones, which often come to life after numerous hours of visualizing and projecting.

Kevin Pee-ace recalls spending most of his time in school doodling on anything that could create a mark. He attributes his need to create to the early exposure to art he received as a child. Even as he continues to study Classical and Near Eastern Archaeology at the University of Saskatchewan, art is a constant.

Pee-ace spent some of his young life at Yellow Quill, Saskatchewan. He and his family moved out to the province of British Columbia where they lived and worked for 11 years. Upon completion of high school, he enrolled and completed a two-year Studio Fine Arts Program at the University College of Fraser Valley in Abbottsford, B.C. He continued to further his knowledge of fine arts through the Capilano College where he studied art history and archaeology.

When asked how he begins to create a piece of art, he is apprehensive about giving his secrets away. However, he is willing to admit that his art is done almost always sporadically. He says that the painting is already there because the picture is visualized mentally. Although the image may not be exactly what he has envisioned once it has been transferred onto canvass, the underlying theme never changes. "As an artist I can never really plan what I'm going to paint. The answer doesn't come until I take a step back to look at what I have previously done," Pee-Ace says, "Each picture has an essence, and my paintings are not only portraits of different people, but the imagery is symbolic or representative of certain aspects of First Nations culture."

A future goal for Pee-ace is to continue his artistry as a full-time career and he believes that achieving this goal is very near. Following his current endeavor, his commitment will eventually see him to pursue a degree in Fine Arts at the Saskatchewan Indian Federated College, in Regina. His dedication coupled with the education he receives will provide him the necessary exposure he needs to become successful in the world of art. His most recent formal showcasing entailed a two-group exhibition in Regina. Pee-ace's influences include Jerry Whitehead, Dennis Bruce and Gary Meeches.

The painting on the cover page is entitled "Our Grandmother." The meaning that Pee-ace conveys in this particular piece is one of respect, identity and knowledge. He would like the receiver to look at this piece and see that it is not just a portrait of an elderly woman, but recognize that the lines on her face say more than her age.

Sask. Indian cover, 'Our Grandmother'