Roger Simon (1954 - 2000)


Roger Simon was a Mi'kmaq artist from Big Cove Reserve, New Brunswick, Canada . He was one of seventeen children who were

professionals in the areas of education, writing, social work and art. He studied at the George Brown College in Toronto, and continued at the New Brunswick College of Craft and Design in Fredericton.

Roger Simon's art combined traditional and contemporary ideas. Some of his style came from his father's time, the faces of people from Big Cove and other reserves that impressed him. Other ideas were from Mi'kmaq legends and stories from the Elders. He interpreted ideas from the old culture in new ways. His inspiration for painting flowers and faces came from the beauty of his people dressed in their finest regalia from time passed.

Simon's painting style was unique amongst Canadian and international artists. Art critics compared his painting style to that of the French painter Gauguin in his earlier work. Some of Roger's paintings of women depict strong personalities, often in restful repose, and surrounded by unusual and beautiful objects. His paintings are greatly appreciated by both the First Nations' and non-aboriginal communities.

Roger Simon's works of art have been requested for reproduction in many publications, art calendars, post cards, and as a background in a Walt Disney film.

In 1995, one of Roger's paintings "The First Car on the Rez" (oil on paper, 1993) was selected by the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade's Fine Art program for a permanent exhibition of First Nations' art for the Canadian Embassy in Moscow, Russia .

Roger Simon's art was displayed in many group and solo exhibitions in prestigious galleries and is in the permanent collections of various public and important corporate collections, while his murals are on public display at many Native organizations and the Miramichi Hospital in Miramichi, NB.

Roger Simon died in January, 2000. His death was a great loss to the Canadian art scene and for those who knew and loved him. His art will provide inspiration to others for many generations.