Bob Boyer: His Life's Work
One of the greatest pleasures that a curator can experience is to meet an artist whose work provides inspiration and whose viewpoints lead to a close personal friendship. Bob Boyer was such an artist. This exhibition and publication acknowledge his life’s work and the joy that it brought to so many people.
Foremost, I would like to thank Ann Boyer whose friendship, generosity, hospitality, laughter and tears ensured the integrity and scope of this project. I am grateful to Ann for her willingness to open up her life and her home to the relentless demands involved in preparing this retrospective exhibition.
Thanks also to Mike Laliberte for sharing his memories of Bob and for his active commitment to this exhibition, and to the organization of the powwow at the MacKenzie Art Gallery for the weekend following the exhibition’s opening.
I am particularly grateful to Ted Godwin, Alfred Young Man and Carmen Robertson for their thoughtful essays, and to Kate Davis for her foreword. Each text provides candid memories of Bob as student, friend, artist, colleague, mentor and educator.
All members of the staff at the MacKenzie Art Gallery contributed to this project with thoughtful ideas and collegial enthusiasm. It was my pleasure especially to work with Assistant Curator Michelle LaVallee in her role as Curatorial Coordinator for this exhibition, as well as on the opening symposium and the website. I am enormously impressed by her cheerful enthusiasm, professionalism and careful attention to this project’s myriad details, while concurrently curating her own exhibitions. As always, Head Curator Timothy Long contributed his insights and experience in all aspects of this project — in particular, towards the successful completion of this publication.
Collections Manager Bruce Anderson gave his tireless attention to the tasks of securing the loans, coordinating the crating and shipping of the works, as well as the photography. Conservator Brenda Smith attended to the laborious examination and treatment of the works. Curatorial Administrative Assistant Marie Olinik produced the files, forms and paperwork that kept this project on track. Installations Officer John Peet and the preparatorial team of Steve Reilly, Ralph Skanes and Marc Courtemanche contributed expertly in all tasks associated with the installation and crating of the artworks. I am greatly appreciative to research assistance from Nicole Brabant, whose thorough attention to detail contributed enormously to this publication. Both Wendy Winter and Alison Dean created programs that celebrate the legacy of Bob Boyer.
Don Hall contributed his expert photography of the artworks, as well as other contextual images that tell the story of Bob’s life’s work. Catharine Bradbury’s sensitive and superb design respects and celebrates Bob’s art. Special thanks go to Sheila Singhal for her superior editing skills, and to the team at the Institut français (University of Regina) — Brigitte Haguès, Françoise Stoppa and Sybile Tremblay — for the translation of the English texts into French — no easy task.
I am extremely grateful to Andrea Laforet, Director of the Ethnology and Cultural Studies Division at the Canadian Museum of Civilization (CMC), and to the Museum’s senior management for their support of my time and travel as I developed this project. Thanks also to Melissa Labrador-Posey, who assisted me for a time as an intern at the CMC.
For their insights, assistance and generosity, I thank Elders Isadore Pelletier and Ken Goodwill, Phillip Gevik, Jeremy Weimer and Mary Ready Weimer, John Kurtz, David Garneau and Ryan Arnott.