Nipissing First Nation artist Donald Chretien's dodems.

Nipissing First Nation artist Donald Chretien’s dodems.


Nipissing First Nation artist Donald Chretien beside his work "The creation story".

Nipissing First Nation artist Donald Chretien beside his work ‘The creation story’.

By Christine Smith (McFarlane)

NEWMARKET – Donald Chretien, artist from Nipissing First Nation showcased his latest body of contemporary Woodland Art at the 2014 Newmarket Studio Tour and Art Show on the weekend of October 18-19.

Since graduating in 1985 from the Ontario College of Arts and Design, Chretien has been painting, but in a commercial way. It is a fascination with the Woodland Style of art, common to his home in the Nipissing region and passion for petroglyphs that influence his distinctive graphic style which is characterized by bright colours and black outlines.

Chretien spoke about his inspiration painting in the Woodland style for the past six years.

“My inspiration started with a project I worked on with Basil Johnston and grew from there,” says Chretien.  “All my paintings come from the stories of folklore mythology that Basil Johnston has passed down to me.”

He says that his art show is very exciting and this is his major show of the year.

“We’re expecting 300 to 400 people throughout this weekend, and this is my fourth year in the Newmarket Studio Tour,” says Chretien.  “I have a few projects on the go and I am applying for a fellowship through the Ontario Arts Council. There’s a project for the TTC for artwork down, in and below, basically the three plains of existence. Through my artwork I hope to keep the stories alive, fresh and vibrant because for awhile everything was fading away and that was scary.”

Other parts of the Newmarket Studio Tour and Art Show included a juried multi-venue walkable art exhibition and sale centered on Historic Main Street. This year’s tour took place across 10 venues and included 21 artists and one collective that exhibited and sold their work encompassing a wide variety of mediums including metal, ceramics, paint and photography.

For more information on Donald Chretien’s work please visit his website at