Arlene Nicholas Christmas's Maliseet birth name was Dozay ("Little Girl"). She was born and raised on the banks of the St. John and Tobique Rivers in western New Brunswick. She was the middle child of a large family of nine brothers and sisters and numerous uncles, aunts and cousins. She praises her people's tradition of family togetherness as the inspiration of many of her artistic works.
Dozay left the Tobique Reserve when she was eighteen to pursue her education and interest in art. She worked as a trainee with the New Brunswick Museum, under the direction of Robert Purcival. She later moved to Nova Scotia and enrolled at the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design in Halifax. Her first break as a professional artist occurred by accident in 1982, when she showed an Indian art dealer some of the drawings she had made over the years. Since that time, Dozay has displayed and exhibited her work throughtout the Maritimes and Ontario. Her talent also extends into graphic art, which has led to freelance work for various native organizations.
"Viewing her work for the first time, I had a difficult time seeing any relevancy the art had to the stark reality of First Nations Life. The work is often whimsical, charming and appears guilty of escapism. Dozay, her preferred name, is an artist who paints images far removed from the poverty, oppressiveness, and weight of life as a First Nations person that is so often the subject of many other of her contemporaries such as Shirley Bear or Teresa Marshall." written by Jim Logan on the work of Dozay.
For more information about Dozay's community visit http://www.membertou.ca
Awards and Accomplishments
Dozay has illustrated a number of books including:
- Glooscap Legends of PEI (in progress)
- Claypots and Bomes, Pka'wo'qq aq Waqntal, Solus Publishing, 1997
- Kikwaju aqq Muin (The Badger and The Bear), Eskasoni School Board, 1991
Recent Exhibitions and Shows
Up coming Solo Exhibition "Tan-whetta-peksi" "Up Where I belong", University College of Cape Breton Art Gallery- Sept., 27-Oct., 31 2002 - "Her Story Her People" She will represent her people "Wolastoqik"(People of the Shining River)Dozay is part of the turtle clan of her people. It will be a unique prepective and combination of the wabanaki confederacycombining both the Mi'qmaw and Wolastoq view of her work.Included with her work will be photos of her ancestors. This Exhibition will be the first of its kind in this part of Canada
2000 - June 17, Halifax, Art Gallery of Nova Scotia will have a show featuring Dozay's work entitled "Glooscap's Land". All are invited to attend.
1998 - Halifax, Art Gallery of Nova Scotia, in an exhibition called Industrial Strength, Group Exhibition.
1995 - Solo Exhibition, Gate House Gallery, Sydney, Nova Scotia.
1994-95 - Pe'l A'Tukwey Traveling Exhibition, Art Gallery of Nova Scotia
1984-86 - Future of Our Children Exhibition, Atlantic Regional Indian Arts and Crafts Corporation, Moncton, St John and Halifax.
See Dozay's Illustrated Stories
Company Name: Dozay
Category: Native Art
Media:Oil on Canvas