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Potawatomi Ancestry: Art by Clayton Samuel King

A painting of a bear in Woodland Art StyleAak wa'ode'ewin (Bravery), acrylic on canvas

Clayton Samuel King is a multimedia artist who currently lives and works in Barrie, Ontario. As a member of the Beausoleil First Nation, Clayton uses a unique blend of contemporary and traditional styles to pay homage to his Potawatomi ancestry.


A painting of a wolf in Woodland Art StyleDbaadendiziwin (Humility), acrylic on canvas


Clayton’s acrylic paintings often feature wildlife native to Ontario, including bears, wolves, and beavers. With titles that translate into admirable personality traits or acts, some of the paintings read as didactic narratives. The artist’s use of motifs of Woodland Art Style with a contemporary medium like acrylic results in highly graphic, bright-colored works that draw the viewer in with plenty of detail that is likewise plainly presented.


A screen capture of Clayton Samuel King's art websiteThe painting gallery on Clayton's website


Clayton also makes a variety of ceremonial regalia, using traditional materials such as hide, sinew and shells. These pieces have a wonderful presence both as art objects, and when worn by the artist himself. 


A handmade smudge fan by Clayton Samuel KingSmudge Fan, repro eagle feathers, pine, deer hide, sinew, embroidery thread

About the author

Dallas Jeffs Art Writer

Dallas Jeffs is the Editor of Artist Run Website's blog. She is a recent graduate of Emily Carr University of Art and Design, where she studied Critical and Cultural Practices. She is passionate about talking and writing about art, and sharing that interest with others. In her studio practice she is a painter, but she considers herself an art writer and educator foremost. If you like art, books and culture with a science fiction twist, check out Dallas' personal blog, HappySpaceNoises

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