Bob Boyer: His Life's Work
The Legacy of Bob Boyer: A Teacher’s Guide
The Legacy of Bob Boyer: A Teacher's Guide was created in conjunction with the exhibition Bob Boyer: His Life’s Work and is intended to further the exhibition’s objectives by providing information and activities for teachers and their students.
Painting is just a craft. It’s what you do with it that makes it art.
— Bob Boyer, 1994
What is a legacy? According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, it can be defined as a “gift by will“, or “something received from an ancestor or from the past. For example: the legacy of the ancient philosophers.” How appropriate to this Legacy Project, for certainly part of Bob Boyer’s “gift” was his recognition of the value of passing on “something received from an ancestor, or from the past.”
As an artist and as a human being, Bob Boyer truly appreciated “gifts” from the past, and possessed a rare ability to make these gifts current and relevant. He was also a person who followed a path, whether by choice, circumstance, or through a “calling”. In following his path, working diligently and achieving many major accomplishments, he truly led the way for others.
Bob Boyer’s many friends, colleagues and acquaintances have all been touched in some way by his ideas, humour, idealism, and compassion. The 2008 retrospective exhibition, Bob Boyer: His Life’s Work, organized by the MacKenzie Art Gallery in collaboration with the Canadian Museum of Civilization, was a tremendous achievement. This resource package is intended to further the exhibition’s objectives by providing information and activities of benefit to students, teachers, artists and other communities.
If Bob Boyer’s legacy was his ability to receive from the past, to learn in the present, and to inspire future generations, then The Legacy of Bob Boyer: A Teacher’s Guide is one of the ways in which the MacKenzie Art Gallery hopes to ensure that current and future generations of students in Saskatchewan, and beyond, discover and appreciate the valuable contributions made to our world by this important artist.
This project was informed by, and includes, many quotes from curator Lee-Ann Martin. Insight was also gained from Ted Godwin, Carmen Robertson and Alfred Young Man: guest contributors to the exhibition catalogue, Bob Boyer: His Life’s Work. Initial research was conducted by artist and educator Susan Bear, cultural significance was further researched by Education Assistant Holly Martin, and production assistance was contributed by Curatorial Research Assistant Nicole Brabant. To gain a greater understanding of an Indigenous worldview and educational practices, it was useful to consult the supplemental resources of the Saskatchewan Ministry of Education and the web resource Four Directions Teacher Resource Kit: Introduction and Overview.