Alex Janvier (1935 - ) Morning Star, 1993
Alex Janvier is a Dene Suline artist. In the early 1970s, he became a member of the Professional Native Indian Artists Incorporation. Others in the group included Daphne Odjig and Norval Morrisseau. A critic in Winnipeg gave the painters another name—the Indian Group of Seven, to reflect the group’s importance to the history of Canadian art. Janvier painted Morning Star (or Gambeh Then’ in Cree) on a dome at the Canadian Museum of History with the assistance of his son Dean. Work on the painting began in June 1993 and finished four months later. Morning Star is a commentary on the interaction of cultures that took place after Europeans arrived in North America and encountered Native peoples. Just as the title Morning Star refers to a star that serves as a means of finding direction, Janvier sees his painting as providing guidance to our understanding of Native/non-Native concerns.