True to his native name Kiskayetum (he who knows it), Allen Sapp painted personal memories and realities of his life and depicted the lives of people at the Red Pheasant Reserve near North Battleford, Saskatchewan. Since the 1950s, using mainly oil and acrylics in a realist style, the artist recorded Northern Plains Cree culture as it had been and as it was.
“his work is marked by his ‘spiritual reverence’ for the world and is not merely an illustration of the world around him (Bob Boyer RCA, 1948-2004).”
Recognized nationally and internationally, in 1975 Sapp was elected to the Royal Canadian Academy of Art (RCA); he received an OC (Order of Canada) in 1987. Other honors include several books and films relating to his life and work, the Saskatchewan Order of Merit (1985), the Saskatchewan Arts Board Lifetime Award of Excellence in the Arts (1996), a University of Regina Honorary Doctorate Degree (1998), and the National Aboriginal Lifetime Achievement Award (1999).
“…deeply felt and often powerfully moving (Dennis Reid, A Concise History of Canadian Painting, 355).”
Sapp’s work is represented in public, corporate and private collections across Canada and internationally including: National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa; Mackenzie Gallery, Regina; Canada Council Art Bank, Ottawa; Canadian Museum of History, Gatineau PQ; the permanent collection of the Allen Sapp Museum in North Battleford, Saskatchewan; Government of Canada Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, Ottawa; University of Saskatchewan College of Agriculture and Bioresources, Saskatoon.
“Allen Sapp’s paintings resonate with people—especially prairie people—because they reflect a connection to the land and to the seasons (Gary Storey, Prof.E, UofS).”
MacDonald, Colin S. A Dictionary of Canadian Artists (Vol.8 Part One). Ottawa: Canadian Paperbacks Publishing Ltd., 2006.
Newlands, Anne. Canadian Paintings, Prints and Drawings. Richmond Hill, ON: Firefly Books, 2007.
Reid, Dennis. A Concise History of Canadian Painting. Don Mills, ON: Oxford University Press, 2012.
Whitelaw, Anne, Brian Foss and Sandra Paikowsky. The Visual Arts in Canada, The Twentieth Century. Don Mills, ON: Oxford University Press, 2010.