Posted by on
The talented Canadian Donald Chretien, a renowned Ojibwe artist from Nipissing First Nation has been producing art for over 30 years. AYA and Donald have been revolving around each other for some time, as he is a customer and we have long been fans of his creative skills. He sent us a message asking if we were interested in using other styles of artwork from across Canada on our eyeglasses and it was then that we began to collaborate. We always enjoy collaborating with Donald on new styles for AYA, and Donald is honoured to have Ojibwe art featured on interesting mediums like eyewear.
The unique style and impact of Aboriginal fine artist Donald Chrétien springs from his combined passion for colour and woodland-style expression. His ongoing exploration of his heritage has him concentrating on distinct features of Ojibwe clans acrylic on canvas.
Q. When were you first bitten by the art bug?.
I am half Aboriginal having grown up in North Bay. When my mom, who was Aboriginal, passed away, I wanted to make sure I found out more about the culture, and through this quest I reached out to the elders including Basil Johnson who became my muse. I graduated from the Ontario College of Arts In 1985 and I have been painting ever since
Q. What role does your heritage have in your art?
My ongoing exploration of my heritage has led me to concentrating on distinct features of different Ojibwe clans.
Q. How do you incorporate storytelling in your art?
In my work I aim to give back to my community and highlight the challenges that First Nations people have endured in the past and still struggle with today. A series of my art is featured in a package of educational resources called “Little Butterfly Girl” that focus on dealing with the brutal realities of Indian Residential Schools. I use my art as a medium to tell of the impact of the brutalities committed for generations at residential schools and the continued harm this abuse has caused indigenous communities, families and individuals.
Q. What inspires you? What catches your creative eye?
My style is influenced by the Woodland Style of art common in my home Nipissing region and my passion for petroglyphs that influence distinctive graphic style characterized by bright colours and black outlines.
Q. You work in a broad range of mediums —Some are very traditional, others are more current and evolving. Is there one you prefer? Does the more traditional work play into, or inform, the modern-day techniques?
My images have been conveyed in a wide range of mediums from the traditional like wood carvings and paint, to digital images, lithography. For the AYA collection, I used a computer to create the artwork for the eyeglass frames.
Q. What’s next?We are so thrilled to now have Donald on board as a brand collaborator for a second collaboration. The official launch of our new styles is in June of 2018.
" In 2003, I formed the AYA brand and began planning the initial collections. And while visiting Vancouver that year, I met Corrine Hunt at a One-of-a-Kind craft show. “I loved her design aesthetic, her passion and her integrity. When I moved back to Vancouver in 2004, she and I discussed my idea for AYA [...]
Choosing Eyeglass Frames - Some Rules To Live ByHave you ever avoided buying new glasses because intuition said there was something moreyou needed to know? Hopefully the following basic tips will help you choose your best lookwith comfort and style. Whether this is your first or twenty-first time choosing a frame, considerthe type of prescription [...]
Sight is a precious sense, so why not do everything in your power to protect it? Sunglasses are not only a great accessory, but they are also your first line of defence against the elements, especially those harmful UV rays.COLIN with Grey Polarized LensTinted sunglasses help by reducing light in general, but also cause a loss of detail in [...]
Joining AYA’s ranks is talented Canadian Donald Chretien, a renowned Ojibwe artist from Nipissing First Nation who has been producing art for over 30 years. AYA and Donald have been revolving around each other for some time, he as a customer and us as a fan of his creative skills. This will be Donald’s first time collaborating on this [...]
I am so pleased to share in celebrating the recognition that our AYA featured artist Corrine Hunt has received for the beautiful artwork she brings to our communities and homes. This year, Corrine was among five First Nations artists to be awarded the BC Creative Achievement Award for First Nations Art. She is so deserving [...]
ONEXONE $100,000 Donation Milestone! We are so excited to share a very important milestone. Since 2009, partial proceeds of all AYA products have gone to the ONEXONE Foundation’s First Nations School Breakfast Program. We are happy to report that we have officially raised over $100,000 for this organization! Image source: www.onexone.org/what-we-do-hunger It warms our hearts to know that we have been a part [...]