Bob Boyer: His Life's Work
Early Years: Upbringing, Art Training and Early Career
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[Image of Boyer family home, forest scene, river scene, Anglican church, night sky, wildflowers, detail of painting “Bitter Green”]
Narrator: Bob Boyer was born and raised in Prince Albert Saskatchewan. His modest upbringing in this small city on the fringe of the forest would create the roots that would keep him focused through out his life.
Ann Boyer: I grew up with Bob I’ve known him since I was eleven ...I’m a east ender, the east end kids and the west end kids never associated. How we tripped across each other I still to this day don’t know because I was raised Anglican and lived in the east end. Bob was raised Catholic and lived in the west end. Bob often called us star crossed lovers and I eventually came to realize that’s exactly what we were. We became wonderful friends and there wasn’t a time from the time that I was twelve that he wasn’t in my life.
[Interview footage of Ted Godwin, Artist, Teacher, and Friend, interspersed with views from the University of Regina]
Ted Godwin: The first day of the first semester, I go in 1969... and I looked at the sea of pink faces and in amongst this sea of pink faces, two thirds of the way up on the right hand side on the aisle - built for escape…two thirds of the way back being anonymous, there’s this little brown face in a buckskin jacket and Bob was the first of a wave. When the class was over I made a bee line for him before he could escape …laughs…we had coffee, we became great friends.
[Detail of painting “Spring, Round Lake” followed by portrait photograph of Bob Boyer]
Ann Boyer: Bob looked up to Ted as a mentor, as a teacher, as an incredible artist. He put him on a pedestal and he really took a lot of what Ted had to say to him to heart.
[Interview footage of Ted Godwin, followed by footage of powwow dancers and view of the Boyer’s family home in Rouleau]
Ted Godwin: Bob and I had long meaningful dialogues about his choices in life. I told him he had three options. He had the white mans world. He had the Indian world or he could choose the third world and float in between. Eventually of course, the needs of the Indian community where such that he was drawn more to the Indian side. He was a very interesting guy.
[Close-up view of flowing river, image of forests, image of St. Mary High School, detail of “Red Kite, Red River”]
Narrator: After graduation Bob returned to Prince Albert in search of a job related to his education.
Ann Boyer: When he went up to Prince Albert. I don’t know where he got the nerve from but he approached a separate school board. He knew they didn’t have an art program and he said if you give me a job I’ll set up the Art department and the Drama department for St.Mary’s … and I don’t know who it was but they said, “Sure, you got a job.” He worked hard. He got the Art department going, he got the drama production going, they did some wonderful productions. He found out he really enjoyed the students, really enjoyed their learning. But he really didn’t enjoy the parents and they couldn’t understand where he was coming from, thinking the kids needed art, they needed culture, they needed something other than football.
[Interview footage with Carol Phillips, Curator of Exhibitions (1974-1980, Director (1981 – 1985), MacKenzie Art Gallery, interspersed with image of Norman MacKenzie Art Gallery]
Carol Phillips: Bob was hired to be a Community Outreach Officer with Paul Fudge who headed up the program at the time and I remember all the conversations about who’s going to come in for this job and of course Ted Godwin was often in the gallery and having coffee at the MacKenzie Art Gallery was pretty much the opportunity that everybody took to come in and chat and see what was going on…and I remember Ted saying, he says “I got somebody for this job, let me tell you, this is the guy you need.” And then Bob joined the gallery in that position and he was there for a couple of years.
[Interview footage with Kate Davis, cut-away to staff photograph with zoom-in on Bob Boyer]
Kate Davis: Bob has quite an interesting history here at the MacKenzie Art Gallery. He started way back in the 80’s when he was an outreach educator. He started out in that program and all these years later he was elected onto the board of governors so he started off as an employee and ended up one of the decision makers for the gallery.
Size: 19.7 MB
Credits: Video produced by Blue Hill Productions