A self-portrait of Frederick. It is colourful and spirit animals are woven throughout the painting.
Acrylic on Canvas
36" X 36"

The Poet

"The Poet"

This painting started off as an idea that I as an artist represent the people that I portray. In this case this is like a selfie over an image of Big Bear. I juxtaposed my face over his to see where it would lead and in doing so I realized that in a way or two I have become one of the narrators of his life and his story. Sometimes I do this with paints and sometimes with pen. Artists are story-tellers and for me there are many stories to tell....

A headshot photo of Frederick R McDonald; older indigenous man smiling and wearing a camera around his neck.

About Fred

Frederick R McDonald is an international, award-winning artist - a painter, poet and photographer - and a member of the Fort McKay First Nation. Fred was born in Fort McMurray and raised in the bush along the Athabasca River, brought up in the traditional hunting and trapping lifestyle of his parents.

Although he has travelled far and wide, Fred’s heart is still with his community and he continues to be an active member of the Fort McKay band. He keeps himself grounded through his family; his children and his grandchildren are his inspiration for everything he does and they are ultimately his greatest creation.

In addition to his mastery of painting, Fred is an accomplished intellectual, with multiple degrees and awards to his name.

  • Bachelor's of Fine Art, University of Calgary
  • The Alberta Heritage Scholarship Fund, 2001 Edmonton, Alberta
  • Regional Aboriginal Recognition Award, Wood Buffalo
  • Global Public Voices Fellow, Cornell University
  • Masters of Fine Art, University of Calgary