Self-taught artist making her mark

Sucker Creek artist Jennifer Calliou poses beside two of her Opîwayak works, with a landscape in the background.

Chris Clegg
Spotlight
Just under two years ago, Jennifer Calliou wanted to find something she and her children could enjoy together. She went to the H&S Dollar Store in High Prairie and purchased some paints.

“I thought it’d be a fun thing to do,” she says.

Little did she know what was about to happen.

Today, the self-taught artist is sending orders of her work to various points in Canada and the United States.

Calliou, 27, lives in Sucker Creek and is a social worker. She works in acrylic paint and is well-known for her Opîwayak [Cree word for feathers].

However, she also does portraits and landscapes.

“I do pretty much anything,” she says. “They are all unique.”

Calliou remembers her first painting being the blood moon on Sept. 30, 2015. Her natural gift has progressed quickly as people began admiring her work and asking about purchasing.

“It’s weird,” she says. “They say I have a style, I don’t know. They tell me if you look at the feathers, they say they see something.”

Calliou’s work will be displayed at the Peace River Library May 17 to June 14. A gallery meet and greet occurs May 18 from 6-8 p.m.

Calliou is understandably excited about her first public art display.

“It’s up to me which works I want to display,” she says. “It’s my own exhibit.”

Her newfound artistic ability has been a blessing. She finds great enjoyment in her work and doesn’t feel burdened by the pressure to produce.

“I paint when I have time. I have no set hours. I do it in the evenings when I’m free and on weekends.”

Or, as inspiration hits!

Calliou enjoyed painting mountains and has friends send her photos so she has a guide to work from.

Calliou also promotes her work on Facebook and on a Website.

Prices for her work are available upon request. The general rule is 25 cents per square inch. Prices do not include shipping.

If you wish to help Calliou set up her display in Peace River, she will accept cash donations, which will go toward snacks, drinks and supplies.

To contact Calliou about her work please e-mail [email protected]

Jennifer Calliou paints in her living room at home on the Sucker Creek First Nations Reserve. She paints when she has time or inspiration hits.

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