P. Poitras-Jarrett Original Art Please Contact For Exibition Enquiries - metisspiritart@gmail.com

Phyllis Poitras-Jarrett - Original Metis Art & Design

Phyllis Poitras-Jarrett 

Artist Statement & Bio 

I am a Métis artist from Saskatchewan. Being a Métis person and having grown up on a farm my connection to the land and nature is inborn.  My art honours the animals that helped sustain the Métis and other Indigenous people throughout history, including the buffalo which were decimated by land developers long ago, making them no longer a viable source of food and resources.  Recently I painted ten 36"x40" mixed media paintings of a moose, buffalo, bush rabbit, beaver, bear, deer, squirrel, partridge, duck and goose each embellished with a unique Métis floral beadwork design.  I will have 20 plus Métis Spirit Animal artworks when the final project is completed. My art also honours the vibrant floral beadwork of Métis women. The Métis people have been known as the "Flower Beadwork People” throughout history. Flower beadwork continues to be crafted on clothing, pouches, covers and jewelry. Métis floral beadwork adorance is our way of giving thanks to the plant world that continues to provide us with an abundance of food, medicine and joy.

     In addition to being an artist and designer I graduated from the Saskatchewan Native Teaching Program ( Suntep) and I am now a retired teacher of 28 years. This new phase of my life gives me the opportunity to focus on my love of sharing Métis art and continue teaching children about art, Saskatchewan Wildlife and the Métis culture. I am inspired to produce a children's book with my art that will include the Métchif words for each animal. Our language is slowly making a resurgence and I myself aspire to learn Métchif.  Many of our traditional teachings were not passed down for fear of retribution. However the resiliency of the Métis people is inspiring and we are slowly reclaiming the lost parts of our culture. Once the pandemic passes I am hopeful that my artwork will be presented in future gallery exhibitions.

      I am also creating an artist gift product line that will represent the “Flower Beadwork People”.  My artist designed gifts are available at With These Hands here in Regina at present.  Each of my artist products highlight and include a Métis Spirit Animal description of the unique characteristics of the specific animal along with the Métchif word. For example, the Métchif word for beaver is “aen kastor”. The description for the Beaver Spirit Animals will also represent a specific human quality that defines us as human beings, but also connects us to all living things.  The beaver is naturally hardworking, diligent, creative and driven to succeed. The beaver can carve down trees and build a lodge and dams in a short period of time. People possess this same drive and determination. A human with the spirit of a beaver can and will succeed at reaching any of their  goals.  

     Métis inspired gifts are lacking in our gift shops across the Nation and I would like to help improve that situation through my artwork and creativity.  It is important that our vibrant culture is represented in a positive light.  It is a wonderful feeling when an Métis person acquires an art product to proudly enjoy it in their homes. My 83 year old mom had tears in her eyes when I gave her a gift that represented her culture.  My art and design reflects our Métis identity and helps preserve it for future generations.  Artwork will always bring people together to celebrate our unique cultures and create a better understanding of the past and present realities. 

“My people will sleep for one hundred years, but when they awake, it will be the artists who give them their spirit back.” Louis Riel

More About Me

 I grew up on a small Saskatchewan farm overlooking Last Mountain Lake. There I discovered my love of art. Our small house was busy with my five siblings and often a few cousins that my caring parents took under their wings. My peaceful creating space was upstairs by a window that was often covered in an inch of frost during the winter months. Frosty winter months meant less work with only the cows to feed and milk. This gave me plenty of extra time to pencil sketch for hours and hours.  

 Being a self taught artist in the digital era is beneficial and numerous online tutorials provided me with a wealth of knowledge. I have made it a point to self teach myself in several different mediums. Presently my focus is mixed media collage, acrylic paintings and woodblock carvings for relief prints. I have designed several Metis beadwork graphics with photoshop to incorporate into my artwork. My beadwork canvas cutouts give my art a unique floral textured finish. In addition to painting I enjoy photography which is mainly focused on the beauty of Mother Earth.

My Kokum's creativity and determination inspired my art. She lived in a two room house on Jackrabbit Street on the road allowance in Lebret, Saskatchewan. There she brought up 11 children with her husband Gregoire Poitras. During the winter months she lived with us, as her home lacked amenities. Lovingly we would string beads for her gorgeous necklaces.  For our efforts a nickel per string, which would go full circle in an evening game of rummy. The sales of necklaces provided her with extra income for living expenses. The elders in my youth were positive role models and always encouraged my creative nature. 

I have always celebrated life through art and in the past years created several backdrops for school musicals and community events. I was proud to donate art for silent auctions, one recently for the Early Learning Centre of a turtle. During my career I helped organize and co-presented several workshops to integrate children's Indigenous stories with art. I was fortunate and thankful to have the Saskatchewan Arts Board award me with the Indigenous art grant to create a 108”x48” triptych with mixed media techniques and my floral artwork. Currently I have designed art of  Turtle Island for the Regina Downtown Business District traffic boxes and door art. For Sask. Cultural Days 2019 and Articulate Ink I carved a 2’x4’ buffalo running through the valley for their steamroller printing event.  As well, Sakewewak First Nations Artists' Collective Inc. accepted 4 of my paintings for the Art Now September 2019 call for artist submissions.I have endless ideas and plans to continue my growth and drive to create art throughout my life.

After being one of the first few individuals to graduate from an Indigenous teaching college, S.U.N.T.E.P., with a major in cross-cultural studies I had a rewarding career as a teacher for 28 years in Regina.  I am fortunate that I can now focus my time creating art and enjoying more moments with my family. I sign my art P. Poitras-Jarrett honouring both my Metis mother and my Scottish-English father. I will always promote pride and positivity through art in the community and in Indigenous people.

 Website: https://www.metisspiritart.ca/    https://www.instagram.com/metisspiritart/

Some interesting facts about my family history:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pierre_Poitras  http://www.metismuseum.ca/resource.php/149121

CV Below the Art ... 

 

CV Jarrett-Poitras - Indigenous Contemporary Artist

My contemporary art is influenced by my rich Metis culture of both present and past. Metis people are known as the “Flower Beadwork People” and I depict our traditional floral designs, culture, stories and dance within my art. I consider myself an experienced artist, yet continuing to emerge and learn.

Alley Door Art 2020 - My "Metis Spirit Animal art was chosen to  be  installed for the Alley Art project to promote positive cultural relations. You can find my Spirit, Moose, Buffalo and Deer dipicted on the back door of the Copper Kettle in the alley. I love this idea!

August 2020 Canadian Hello Magazine August special addition.

August 2020 My "Metis Spirit Animal" designed products are being sold at With These Hands here in Regina.

May 2020 I am honoured to have my art hanging at the Native Women's Association of Canada Resiliency Lodge in Quebec.

Dec. 2020 - Sask. Arts Board Grant 2020 to create six 36"x40" mixed paintings for a series of 20 plus "Metis Spirit Animals" I am presently working on.  These are being created and painted during the pandemic of 2020 --- to who knows.

Projects/Grant Awards - Sept. 2019 - Sâkêwêwak Artists’ Collective Gallery -Chose four of my 30”x 48” mixed paintings to display at the 2019 Art Now Saskatchewan Fine Art Fair. 

August 2019 - Sask. Cultural Days Event/Art Submission/Articulate Ink. My art was chosen by Articulate Ink for a Sask. Culture Event depicts a buffalo running across the Saskatchewan plains near the Qu'appelle Valley.  I carved Metis floral beadwork sprouting up from the ground. It was carved onto a 2’x4’ woodblock. I helped ink the woodblock and it was rolled over with a steamroller on Scarth St. in Regina during Cultural Days to create a paper print. The steamroller printing event was organized by Articulate Ink. Loved It!

Dec. 2018 - Sask. Arts Board Grant 2018 to create a 108”x 48” mixed media canvas collage Painting (Triptych) Titled “Valley Tranquility”A representation of Qu'appelle Valley And it’s three lakes with vertical lines representing the sky, water, sun and earth. As well Metis flower beadwork canvas cutouts across the scene.                                                                           

City of Regina Downtown - March 2019 - Traffic Box Art 2018 I created beadwork graphics and a Turtle to adorn this box located in front of Regina Central Library and Dunlop Art Gallery.  Titled “ Turtle Islands Water”, to bring awareness to clean water across Turtle Island (North America) and to promote positive cultural and community relations and prevent graffiti in Regina, Sk. downtown area. Alley Door Art 2018 - A second location for “The Circle of Rejuvenation” installed for the Alley Art project to promote positive cultural relations.  May 2016 Traffic Box Art installation, The title is “The Circle of Rejuvenation” It’s located in front of the Saskatchewan Mental Health building and bring joy and peace to the space. It’s adorned with bright yellow floral beadwork and buffaloes with the sun shining down. To promote positive cultural and community relations and prevent graffiti in Regina, Sk. downtown area.

1990-2018 Regina Public School Board, Regina, Sk.28 YEARS — Elementary Teacher Retired - Throughout my career I had opportunities to coordinate Indigenous focused events and positive cultural awareness such as inviting Indigenous expert presenters and inviting Elder’s visits for the children.  (Bannock, Storytellers, a Tipis raising and crafts) Integrating art within the children’s learning was of great importance to develop creative young adults throughout my career. My creative gifts gave me many opportunities to help prepare backdrops and art for special events throughout the year. Ensuring that the children always took part.   

Committees/Workshops - RPSTA 2000  Conference Sask. Teacher’s Yearly Convention to help organize the Indigenous component - communications committee, Integrating Indigenous Literature and Art Workshops 1997-1999 for AWASIS, RPSB Convention and Sask. Reading Council with my co-presenter Christina Johns                                                                                                                                                                                                               Other Experience - Feliss Art is my personal artist website influenced by my rich Metis culture to display and sell my art, decor and fashion designs. The art and graphics on my website are designed by me.  Most importantly in addition to being an ecommerce/artist website I created it to promote positive relations between our communities and promote our rich culture.                

Skills - Several years of self taught  (Online) Art, photoshop, photography tutorials.  As well as studying informational books on techniques and style, Photography knowledge & use of a full frame Sony A7III, Web Designer and Manager of a home-based business, Knowledge and confident use of Photoshop 2019 and Lightroom 2019, Designing graphics using an Intuos Graphic tablet and photoshop, Creating small video presentations                     

Website Designing & Social Media - sole designer of Metis Spirit Art & Design shopify, Metis Spirit Art & Design Facebook,Metis Spirit Art & Design Instagram with a Social Media Course by (Blue Moose Media) 

EDUCATION - University of Regina, S.U.N.T.EP, Regina, Sk.- Bachelors Of Education

Graduated 1990. SUNTEP is a fully accredited  Bachelor of Education Program with a cross-cultural focus in Metis History and Culture. I majored in cross-cultural studies.  I was a teacher for 28 years and enjoyed teaching students about the Metis culture and history.