Stephen Snake was born on the Chippewas of Rama reserve near Orillia, Ontario in 1966. A self-taught natural born artist, Stephen’s gift was recognized at an early age and encouraged by his mother Carol Shilling. Arthur Shilling, a cousin of Carol, became a strong influence on Stephen’s direction as an artist.
His first show was in 1989 at the Woodland Cultural Centre in Brantford, Ontario. Stephen has had several exhibitions since then, solo and group shows, and his work can be found in many private and public collections throughout the world. Some of his early works are in the Orillia Chamber of Commerce, Chipppewa’s of Rama Band office, Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto, Ontario and the Canadian Embassy in Hungary.
In the spring of 1991, Stephen was fortunate to meet Norval Morrisseau, another great influence in his life’s work, and in 2008 he painted an oil portrait of Norval. The painting was slated to be part of a future solo exhibition but the Maslak gallery acquired the portrait for their permanent collection. This portrait hangs in the Maslak Gallery in Yorkville, Toronto, Ontario and is featured on the website of the Norval Morrisseau Family Foundation.
Portraits of the many Chiefs and Warriors of Native North America along with portraits of other Native artists and self-portraits have become signature for Stephen. Notable portraits of Native artists that he has painted, besides Norval Morrisseau, have been Arthur Shilling, Richard Bedwash, Del Ashkewe, and Floyd Kuptana.
In 1997, Jim Hodgins of the Canadian Wildflower magazine invited Stephen to join the “Temagami 22” artists to paint the Old Growth red and white pines of Temagami.
The artists were taken by boat & float plane to the various stands of old growth and 38 paintings were created. A preview of the paintings was held at the Arts & Letters Club of Toronto and all the works were featured in a book. The following summer an exhibition & sale was held at the Temagami Welcome Centre gallery in August, 1998.
Stephen has a studio in Rama and one on Bear Island, Lake Temagami where he paints majestic landscapes of the north with his own distinctive, impressionistic Style that resonates the spirituality of the land.
Contact Steve:Studio Addresses: 4165 Snake Avenue, Rama, ON L3V 6H6 705.329.4778 #75 Bear Island, ON P0H 1C0